Agriculture Ministry to loan $40.5 from ADB, 30m euro from Italy

Writer: 
Soe Min Htike and Sithu

Union Minister for Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation Dr Aung Thu has submitted a proposal to Union Parliament seeking loans of US$40.5 million from Asian Development Bank and 30 million euro from Italy.

The proposal was submitted during a session of Union Parliament held in Nay Pyi Taw on August 1.

The loan of US$40.5 million from ADB is to implement agricultural projects in 14 townships—five in Magway Region, four in Mandalay Region and five in Sagaing Region in upper Myanmar. Experts from ADB and ministry staff conducted a feasibility study from 2016 to February this year.

The ADB loan has to be repaid in 32 years including a suspension of eight year. The interest rate is 1 percent in the suspension period and 1.5 percent in the remaining period.

The minister said the loan would be repaid with government budget sought annually.

He said Italy had offered to provide a soft loan of 30 million euro as co-financing in the national electricity supply project to be implemented for villages across Myanmar without electricity. There are 63,899 villages in the country. Only about 24,290 enjoy electricity while about 39,609 are without electricity.  

The Myanmar government is implementing the national electricity supply project with an IDA loan from the World Bank with the intention to electrify the whole country by 2030.

The Ministry of Electricity and Energy is implementing a national grid extension project by spending US$300 million. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation is implementing rural electrification project (outside national grid).

The Italian loan is interest free. The suspension period is 18 years and repayment period 10 years. The project will be implemented in Chin State with poor transport and its neighbouring states and regions.

Electricity supply tasks have now started to electricify 1,019 villages (about 96,500 houses) with the use of home-use solar panels and small-scale power lines.