Money from the Manila-based multi-governmental bank will finance irrigation improvements in 74 districts across the country. These will focus on improving irrigation system operation, maintenance and water delivery to farmers.
“The programme will help farmers in these districts by improving water delivery to their farms,” said Eric Quincieu, an ADB water resources specialist.
“The aim is to improve the incomes and livelihoods of these rural communities, as well as to help Indonesia achieve sustainable and more productive irrigated agriculture.”
Though agricultural production has been growing, the country is still experiencing rising imports, higher domestic prices and sporadic shortages of food.
The Ministry of Public Works and Housing, which oversees irrigation infrastructure, estimated in 2014 that only 55% of the nation’s irrigation system is functioning at full capacity. This has been limiting yields and reducing cropping intensity.
Meanwhile, climate change exacerbates the country’s effort to increase food production, and the availability of water for irrigated agriculture is erratic in many areas.
The ADB loan will focus on enhancing the performance of irrigation systems and attracting the participation of farmers, to help improve water delivery.
To ensure sustainability, it will help improve asset management, budgeting and planning of the irrigation infrastructure. It will also introduce high-level technologies and climate resilience measures to improve irrigation service delivery, including water management services.