The World Bank’s support to China through the Henan Green Agriculture Fund (GAF) Project will foster green agriculture practices in the country

World Bank

Image: World Bank supports China’s foray into green agriculture. (Credit: Pixabay/Schwoaze.)

The World Bank has approved a loan of €267.2m ($300m) loan to China to strengthen green investments in agriculture, development standards and technological innovation in Henan Province.

The loan is being provided under the Henan Green Agriculture Fund (GAF) Project, which will support in establishing a dedicated investment facility to demonstrate the viability of financing green agriculture investments.

According to the bank, Henan is one of the major agricultural provinces with high output in livestock and grains in the country. At the same time, the province is also the highest consumer of chemical fertilisers and the second-largest consumer of pesticides in the country.

The GAF project will finance green agricultural projects, which were defined as those that are more resource-efficient and offer environmental sustainability, are climate-smart ad increase the quality and safety of agri-food produce.

The financing could eliminate the use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides

The financing could go towards green inputs and equipment production, reduction and elimination of chemical fertilisers, pesticides and plastic use through good agriculture practices, investment in technologies and practices that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and nutrients run-off.

The investment could also improve energy and water efficiency and reduce food loss and wastage. 75% of the project’s activities could provide direct climate co-benefits.

World Bank country director for China Martin Raiser said: “This project will support the development of a green agriculture financing mechanism that can leverage commercial investments and boost the adoption of innovative technologies.

“It will help China fill the gap in green financing standards and generate useful lessons for other parts of China and increase the quality and safety of agricultural food products.

“This project has a strong focus on promoting global public goods. Through this project, both China and the world will benefit from reduced agricultural pollution and emissions.”

The project is also expected to foster the development of green agriculture financing standards based on globally accepted principles and performance benchmarks, applicable to the Chinese agricultural sector. They will cover areas such as identification of green agriculture investments, improved processes for project evaluation and selection, management of social and environmental risks, and measuring and reporting environmental benefits based on scientific evidence, transparency and accountability.