ADB approves $470 million loans for India

The Asian Development Bank said on Thursday that it approved two loans worth $470 million to fund infrastructure and agricultural projects in India. The Manila-based bank said the first loan, worth $300 million, would finance a project to build and upgrade 356 km of state highways in one of India's poorest states, Bihar.

The bank noted that rehabilitating the roads in the eastern state, where 43 per cent of the population lives in poverty, was a "key step in opening up new economic opportunities for farming families".

Under the project, highways would be upgraded into two-lane roads, new drainage and bridges would be constructed, and existing culverts and bridges would be strengthened.

The second loan, worth $170 million, would finance efforts to modernise the horticulture industries in Bihar and the south-western state of Maharashtra to boost farmers' incomes.

The bank said the programme would finance improvements to farm facilities, drainage and waste-management systems and other infrastructure, including farm-to-market roads.

It would also help organise small producers into farmer companies and give them training to increase their skills for marketing and adding value to their crops in a bid to increase their profits.

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