The World Bank’s Board of Directors today approved a $320 million loan to promote green agriculture and rural development in China’s southwest region. This support will contribute to global public goods, including reducing agricultural plastic pollution and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from agriculture, and improving the protection and restoration of biodiversity, while strengthening the institutional capacity of local governments to integrate environmental objectives into government rural revitalization plans and investments. . The World Bank financing will complement more than $4.69 billion of China’s own resources.
Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region and Guizhou Province are among the four poorest regions of mainland China’s 31 administrative regions. Agriculture continues to be a significant part of their economies, with rural populations above the national average in both provinces. Despite rapid progress in reducing poverty in recent years, two-thirds of the rural population have incomes below $5.50 a day, the poverty line for upper-middle-income countries. The increase in unsustainable agricultural practices, the degradation of natural resources and GHG emissions are undermining sustainable agriculture and rural growth in these regions.
The program supports the Chinese government’s ambitious National Rural Revitalization Program (2018-2035), which is implemented through five-year Rural Revitalization Strategic Plans (RRS). The first phase of the current plan focuses on consolidating and sustaining recent progress in eradicating absolute poverty through the development and modernization of green agriculture, the provision of rural infrastructure and public services and improving rural governance. The program will contribute to the achievement of these objectives.
“China’s remarkable achievements in reducing rural poverty are under threat unless agricultural practices become more environmentally sustainable,” said Martin Raiser, World Bank Country Director for China, Mongolia. and Korea. “This program will introduce goals for green agriculture and at the same time help improve the effectiveness and impact of the government’s rural revitalization program in Guangxi and Guizhou, generating lessons that can be applied nationally. .”
The program should be 94% funded by the government, primarily at the provincial level, to support the achievement of the intended results. Program activities include institutional capacity building at village and county level, agricultural training and extension services for farms and cooperatives, financial incentives to farmers and food processing enterprises to promote technologies and climate-smart and greener agricultural practices, and investments in rural and solid wastewater. waste management service. The program also includes investments in the monitoring, evaluation and verification of environmental results and supports the development of programme-based budgets to better link the use of resources to results at the local government level.