On Tuesday, the World Bank and the Indian government sealed a deal of worth 250 million dollars for the National Rural Economic Transformation Project (NRETP). The deal will eventually assist women in rural households to build strong organizations related to farm and non-farm products. This will help women in rural households to switch to a new era of economic initiatives.
The main objective of the project will be to encourage and support the women-owned and women-led farm and non-farm organizations within value chains. The project will also assist women to develop a business which will help them to access finance, networks and markets while further creating jobs, as World Bank addressed in a statement.
An agreement was signed on Monday between the World Bank and the Government of India. The NRETP is further financing to 500 million dollar National Rural Livelihoods Project (NRPL) which has been accepted by the World Bank in July 2011. As of now, the NRLP has been executed across 13 states of India, 162 districts and around 575 blocks. The project has recruited more than 8.8 million women from poor rural section households into self-help groups (SHGs) of 750,000. The SHGs is associated with the Village Organizations of 48,700 and Gram Panchayat level Federations of 2900. The 13 states will receive the support under the new project which has been signed on Tuesday and later 125 districts will be included from across these states.
The 250 million dollar loan has a time limit of 5 years and the ultimate maturity of 20 years. The National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM) was launched in 2011, and ever since the project has mobilized rural women into self-help groups.
The World Bank further mentioned that the NERTP could assist enterprise development programmes for rural poor women and also youth by developing a platform so as to access finance as well as start-up financing options so that they can develop their enterprises or collaboratively own enterprises and even control them.
Other important elements of the project consist of creating financial products by using digital financial services so as to support the small manufacturer collectively to scale up their business and to engage with the market.
The project will further strive to offer skills, technical assistance and investment support to enhance the women-owned and women-led manufacturer collectively to change farm and non-farm enterprises into premium quality like livestock products, fisheries and commercial crops.
As per the data, these groups have borrowed almost 30 billion dollars from commercial banks. The new project will also help youth skills development which has associated with Deen Dayal Upadhaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana. Point to point learning within states and communities was a good strategy within NRLP and this will also be implemented in this project.
The objective of National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM) is to eradicate rural poverty and generate opportunities for livable livelihood across rural societies by supporting sustainable community based organizations which will in-turn promote economic and financial services for the poor of rural society, Sameer Kumar Khare-the additional secretary for Department of Economic Affairs and Ministry of Finance mentioned. Further adding to this he said, the additional funding will support us to offer motivation to the poverty alleviation measures and to secure fair and comprehensive growth in India.
The new loan agreement was signed by Sameer Kumar Khare being a representative of Indian Government, and Acting Country Director of World Bank of India, Hisham Abdo as a representative of World Bank.