Govt, World Bank sign $80m Rural Enterprise and Economic Development Project


The government and the World Bank signed an $80 million (around Rs 9.3 billion) project today to bolster Nepal’s agriculture sector by strengthening rural market linkages and promoting entrepreneurship while creating jobs to support post-COVID-19 recovery.

The Rural Enterprise and Economic Development Project (REED) was signed by Finance Secretary Sishir Kumar Dhungana on behalf of the Nepal government and the World Bank Country Director for Nepal, Maldives and Sri Lanka, Faris Hadad-Zervos.

The project aims to facilitate productive partnerships between rural producer organisations and private-sector buyers to add value, create jobs and foster sustainable inclusion into, and development of, higher-value domestic and foreign value chains, as per a media release.

The project focuses on five economic corridors covering Provinces 1, 2, Bagmati, Gandaki, Lumbini and Sudurpashchim that offer opportunities for successful linkage activities of the rural entrepreneurs to be supported by the project. REED will work with provincial and local governments, intermediary organisations and small and medium enterprises to build capacity in the agriculture sector and strengthen the entrepreneurship ecosystem.

The project will also finance investments in municipal agriculture centres and value chain infrastructure to ensure the availability of inputs for farming as recovery actions from COVID-19. The project will use labour-intensive ‘Cash for Work’ mechanism, to the extent possible, in short-term public works.

The project supports the government’s Agriculture Development Strategy 2015- 35 that aims to create a sustainable, competitive, inclusive and resilient agricultural sector that drives economic growth with private sector participation.