Colombo, March 11 (IANS): The World Bank on Monday approved a $125 million loan for Sri Lanka to help small farmers improve productivity and tackle climate change.
The programme will benefit more than 470,000 small farmers in six provinces in the dry zone of the country, selected for being most exposed to climate impacts, the World Bank said in a statement cited by Xinhua news agency.
Sri Lanka is particularly vulnerable to climate-related natural disasters such as floods and droughts with hundreds of people killed in recent years, the report said.
“Innovation, including the introduction of improved crop varieties, cropping patterns, water resources management, among others, can help farmers adapt to changing climate and improve their incomes and livelihoods,” said World Bank Country Director for Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka Idah Z. Pswarayi-Riddihough.
The project will ensure that all farmers obtain adequate access to training and research.
Sri Lanka’s agriculture is one of the worst-affected sectors by climate change. Agriculture contributes about 7.7 per cent to the country’s economy and employs 27 per cent of the population.