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February 01, 2011

Zambia gets $160 million World Bank loan for irrigation, livestock

The World Bank will invest $160 million in Zambian agriculture in 2011 to boost irrigation and livestock farming, its country manager said on February 1.

"We concluded negotiations for the investment of $115 million in an irrigation project and expect to invest another $45 million in livestock within this year," Kapil Kapoor said.

The money is due to be released in the second half of the year.

The planned investment would primarily target small-scale farmers, although some of the funds would be used to strengthen the agriculture and livestock ministries, he added.

"The irrigation project is intended to benefit targeted small-scale farmers and the investment in livestock will help strengthen veterinary services," Kapoor said.

Zambia is Africa's biggest copper producer, and sales of the metal account for 80 percent of all export earnings. However, farming is still the biggest section of the economy, accounting for nearly 20 percent of annual output.

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