Vijayawada: At a time when YSR Congress government draws flak following two global funding agencies including World Bank and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank withdrawing financial support for the development of the Amaravati project, German state-owned KFW Bank has come forward to extend a loan of Rs 1,735 crore to promote Zero Based Natural Farming in AP.
KFW Bank (Credit Institute for Reconstruction) representative met Chief Secretary L.V. Subaramaniam at the Secretariat here on Thursday and deliberated on the issue.
The state government submitted project proposals to extend SBNF under climate resilience programme at an estimated cost of Rs 2,479 crore to the Centre, which were accepted.
Based on this, the KFW Bank in principle expressed interest to give a loan of Rs 1,735 crore while the remaining Rs 744 crore would be borne by the state government.
According to the officials privy to the development, KFW Bank will officially announce the sanction of loan to AP for ZBNF in October and a trilateral agreement between the Centre, AP and the KFW Bank will be entered into in November. Accordingly, the KFW Bank will release the loan amount in two phases. In the first phase, Rs 744 crore will be released and in the second phase Rs 900 crore will be released.
AP will take up ZBNF in 1,725 gram panchayats in the state with as many as seven lakh farmers opting to adopt it. As many as 25,000 master farmers will be trained as resource persons while 69,000 self-help group women will be made partners in the programme. A science and global knowledge centre will be set up while the project management team will provide technical support to extend the ZBNF in targeted areas.
KFW Bank representatives Andrew Jone Stun and principal project manager Iris Harder and AP senior government officials including state government advisor for agriculture T. Vijay Kumar, agriculture principal secretary in-charge Madhusudhan Reddy, revenue principal secretary S.S. Rawat and others were present.