The FINANCIAL -- The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $600 million loan to support Indonesia’s program of irrigation improvement to enhance food security and reduce poverty in rural areas.
The Integrated Participatory Development and Management of Irrigation Program will finance Indonesia’s irrigation improvement program in 74 districts across the country. ADB’s support will focus on improving irrigation system operation, maintenance, and water delivery to farmers.
“The program will help farmers in these districts by improving water delivery to their farms,” said Eric Quincieu, an ADB Water Resources Specialist. “The aim is to improve the incomes and livelihoods of these rural communities, as well as to help Indonesia achieve a sustainable and more productive irrigated agriculture.”
Despite positive trends in agricultural production, Indonesia still experiences rising food imports, higher domestic food prices, and sporadic food shortages. The availability of water for irrigated agriculture is erratic in many areas. The Ministry of Public Works and Housing, which oversees irrigation infrastructure, estimated in 2014 that only 55% of the nation’s irrigation system is functioning at full capacity, limiting yields and reducing cropping intensity. Climate change exacerbates the country’s effort to increase food production, according to ADB.
ADB support will focus on enhancing the performance of irrigation systems in the target districts and strengthening irrigation management. Assistance will also be provided to increase farmer participation, which will help improve water delivery. To ensure sustainability, the program will help to improve asset management, budgeting, and planning of the irrigation infrastructure. It will introduce high level technologies and climate resilience measures to improve irrigation service delivery, including water management services.
The program will be complemented by financing from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) to the Ministry of Agriculture for improved delivery of agricultural services to maximize the benefits of the irrigation improvements.