Ukraine Close to $3 Billion China Loan for Irrigation Project

Ukraine is in talks with China to receive a $3 billion loan under government guarantees from the Export-Import Bank of China to resume irrigation of farmland in the south of the former communist Black Sea country.The talks are “in the final stage,” Ukrainian Agriculture Minister Mykola Prysyazhnyuk said today in Kiev. The project will begin in the middle of 2014 and will help supply water to 1.2 million to 1.4 million hectares of farm land, he said.
Ukraine is seeking to increase agricultural output and boost its grain harvest. The country, which has 41.6 million hectares of farm land and 32.5 million hectares of arable land, expects a record grain crop this year of 60 million metric tons and record grain exports of 28 million tons in the marketing year starting from July 1.

The loan, which was discussed during a visit by Ukraine’s First Deputy Prime Minister Serhiy Arbuzov to China last week, will cost 6.5 percent, including all expenses and insurance, the minister said. There will be five-year payment-free period, and the body of the loan is to be paid back in 10 years, Prysyazhnyuk said.


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