The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $60 million loan to modernize and rehabilitate irrigation systems in Kompong Thom and Battambang provinces.
“Low agricultural productivity is a serious problem for Cambodian farmers, who depend on poorly maintained irrigation systems to grow rice,” Raza Mahmood Farrukh, a water resources specialist with the ADB’s Southeast Asia department, said in a press release Tuesday.
Besides improving infrastructure, part of the loan will be used to train government staff and farmers in water resource management.
The project will run until 2021 and is expected to more than double the total cultivated area over both the dry and wet seasons to 29,500 hectares.
The Cambodian government is kicking in an additional $6.1 million.
The ADB says the project will compliment other bank initiatives in the provinces such as the Climate-Resilient Rice Commercialization Sector Development Program, which provides farmers with access to certified high-quality seeds.