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Nation may receive more farm aid from overseas

Update: February, 25/2012 - 08:00

ROME, Italy — Viet Nam might get more support from the International Fund for Agricultural Development, given the country's good performance in the sector, according to Kanayo F. Nwanze, president of the United Nations organisation.

Thursday's meeting between Deputy Finance Minister Truong Chi Trung and the IFAD president revealed positive results on the sidelines of the two-day IFAD Governing Council meeting in Rome, Italy.

Having reached a middle-income status in 2010, international assistance to the country was expected to decrease.

According to a draft strategy drawn up between the IFAD and Viet Nam, to be approved later this year, the country could get US$120m in preferential loans from the UN organisation for agricultural and rural development over the next five years, said IFAD country programme manager Atsuko Toda.

The amount is rather large in comparison to the total loans of $300m the IFAD has provided Viet Nam since 1993, making it one of the countries receiving the most support from the organisation.

"Viet Nam's performance has been very good, so you can expect an increase," said Nwanze, who told the country to start sharing its expertise with other nations in the region.

Trung said the support from the IFAD was "very important", given that it targeted the most remote areas, the poor, ethnic minorities and women.

The IFAD president has also set up a task force to reconsider lending periods and interests for countries at the bottom of the middle-income group following Viet Nam's proposal.

"The country's new status makes loans more costly," said Trung. According to IFAD regulations, middle-income countries have 25 years remittance deadlines (compared to 40 for the low-incomers), 1.25 per cent in annual interest (against interest-free or very low rates) and higher proced — VNS

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