ADB approved a $150 million loan and a $3 million grant to Uzbekistan. The funds will be used to improve food and water security by improving land and water management, as well as agricultural productivity, Podrobno.uz reported.
“ADB is interested in strengthening water management in Uzbekistan. The country relies on valuable transboundary waters. It is the main source of livelihood for half of the country’s rural population. This project will support the government’s priorities to shift to growing more valuable crops, improve land and water management, and adaptation to climate change”, Evgeny Zhukov, ADB Director General for Central and West Asia said.
90% of all water resources used in Uzbekistan go to agriculture, including irrigation of wheat and cotton, but climate change affects water supply, experts have calculated. Therefore, the project will create climate-resilient and improved irrigation systems in the Amudarya and Zarafshan river basins by improving water metering and upgrading existing irrigation and drainage infrastructure.
The project will help to improve water management on farms, introduce technologies and expand practices to improve water productivity. It will also allow irrigation systems to adapt to more frequent water shortages and enable water users to better cope with climate variability.
“ADB is a key development partner of Uzbekistan and continuously provides policy advice, investment support, and capacity building. This project will help strengthen the Ministry of Water Resources and local water management organizations, while helping farmers and water users increase productivity,” ADB’s chief water specialist Frank Rudstake said.
September 1, 2022