DHAKA, July 1 (Xinhua) -- The Asian Development Bank (ADB) extended financial assistance to Bangladesh to grow high-value crops including vegetables, spices and fruits that will boost incomes for poor farmers and support the nation's food security.
ADB's concessional Asian Development Fund sanctioned a loan of 40 million U.S. dollars to support the development of high-value crops in 27 southwestern and northwestern districts of Bangladesh, an ADB press release was quoted by national news agency BSS on Thursday.
The focus of the project will be on crops with proven market demand, high profitability, and potential for commercialization, including fruits, vegetables, spices, cut flowers, potted plants and value-added agro-products.
With Bangladesh highly susceptible to extreme weather events due to its low-lying position along the Bay of Bengal, the project will also pilot test climate-resilient varieties of crops in drought and flood-prone areas.
The loan, which will finance 87 percent of the total project cost of 45.8 million U.S. dollars, has a 32-year term with an eight-year grace period.
Interest during the grace period is set at 1 percent per annum, rising to 1.5 percent for the rest of the term. The government will provide 5.42 million U.S. dollars, while farm communities is extending around 390,000 U.S. dollars.
The Department of Agricultural Extension and Bangladesh Bank are the executing agencies for the project, which is expected to be completed by June 2016.