The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors today approved new funding to improve irrigated agricultural production systems in selected Central coastal and Northern mountains provinces in Vietnam, which will help another 243,000 farming families with better irrigation and drainage service and farming techniques by 2019.
Farmers in the small community of Tuol Sdey, in the Svay Rieng province of southeastern Cambodia, have reason to be happy. For the first time in decades they can rejoice in having two harvests in one season. This is largely due to the construction of a new water dam which stores rain in a nearby reservoir, providing farmers with the necessary water supply to irrigate their farmland and produce greater rice yields.
Irrigated agriculture has made a significant contribution towards world food security. However, water resources for agriculture are often overused and misused. The result has been large-scale waterlogging and salinity. In addition, downstream users have found themselves deprived of sufficient water, and there has been much pollution of freshwater resources with contaminated irrigation return flows and deep percolation losses.
Over the last half-century, significant productivity gains in agriculture have protected the world from devastating food shortages and the threat of mass starvation. Water management, in both rain-fed and irrigated agriculture, has been instrumental in achieving those gains. As a key component in Green Revolution technologies based on fertilizer application and the use of high yield varieties, improved water management has helped boost productivity - or output of "crop per drop" - by an estimated 100% since 1960.
Although many studies have shown that infrastructural development has a positive macroeconomic effect on investment and economic growth, until recently there was insufficient evidence that there is also a microeconomic effect of poverty reduction among individuals. In 2000, JBIC Institute (JBICI) began collaborating with the Graduate School of Economics of the University of Tokyo to study and measure the direct effect of infrastructural development on poverty reduction.