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Thursday, April 24, 2014
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WB to Help Vietnam Provide Better Irrigation Services for Central and Northern Mountainous Region

17/01/2014 13:30 (96 Day 13:18 minutes ago)

The FINANCIAL -- The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors  approved new funding to improve irrigated agricultural production systems in selected Central coastal and Northern mountains provinces in Vietnam, which will help another 243,000 farming families with better irrigation and drainage service and farming techniques by 2019, according to The World Bank Group.



The funding of US$180 million will go to the Irrigated Agriculture Improvement Project, which is expected to benefit farmers and rural households, irrigation and drainage entities, and water users organizations/associations in the Central Coast Region (Thanh Hoa, Ha Tinh, Quang Tri, and Quang Nam provinces) and the Northern Mountainous Region (Ha Giang, Phu Tho, and Hoa Binh provinces).

The project will include the development of climate-smart agriculture to increase farm productivity and incomes, and make agriculture more resilient to climate change, while also mitigating Green House Gas (GHG) emission. The project will support farmers in adopting climate-smart farming techniques, including systems of rice intensification and crop diversification, use of bio-fertilizer, integrated pest management, and crop residues to reduce emissions. It is expected that the project, when completed, will serve another 83,400 ha of agricultural land with better and reliable irrigation services, according to The World Bank Group.

This project is expected to help the people in the 7 target provinces increase the water productivity and land-use efficiency; improve access to quality water services; enhance agricultural quality, productivity, and diversification; increase farmers’ incomes; and reduce their vulnerability to adverse climatic events.

The funding comes from the International Development Association, the World Bank ’s lending arm for low-income countries, with blend terms (25 years final maturity including a 5-year grace period). The total project cost over a six-year implementation period is estimated at US$210 million, of which the World Bank will provide US$180 million. The Government of Vietnam will cost share the remaining of US$30 million, according to The World Bank Group.

To date, irrigation and drainage investments have had a strong impact on agricultural intensification, diversification, and productivity. Around 4.5 million ha of cultivated land, or 46 percent, is irrigated and about 2.5 million ha or 26 percent has drainage. In 2012, milled rice exports exceeded 8 million tons, making Vietnam the world’s second largest rice exporter. However, over half of the irrigation and drainage systems are deteriorating or operating below their potential capacities. Rates of water productivity are below international standards and this poses a threat given increasing impacts from climate change and increased competition for water.



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“The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”: presidential election and early parliamentary elections

23/04/2014 16:38 (10:10 minutes ago)

The FINANCIAL -- A 14-member delegation of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), led by Stefan Schennach (Austria, SOC), will travel to “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” from 25 to 28 April to observe the conduct of the presidential election (2nd round) and the early parliamentary elections, alongside observers from the OSCE’s Parliamentary Assembly and Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), according to PACE.



Major Cloud Service Providers Slash Prices; Threaten Smaller Players’ Existence: IDC Warns

19/04/2014 13:40 (4 Day 13:08 minutes ago)

The FINANCIAL -- In the last week of March, major Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) in Asia dropped their prices for core services dramatically and IDC believes that this will make it very difficult for smaller CSPs to remain in business if they continue to rely on provision of basic, undifferentiated services, according to International Data Corporation (IDC).

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