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IDB approves $39 million for Bolivian agriculture, customs reform

The Inter-American Development Bank today announced the approval of two soft loans totaling $39 million to strengthen agricultural technology and health and to reform and modernize the customs administration.

Both loans are for 40-year terms, with a 10-year grace period, with a 1 percent annual interest rate during the grace period and a 2 percent rate thereafter.

Agriculture sector

A loan of $34 million for agriculture will provide resources for investments in technology innovation projects, genetic resource conservation, plant and animal health, and food safety. A new agricultural technology system will be established in which the technology directorate of the Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Development* will be strengthened and four agricultural technology development foundations will be established in the four agricultural and ecological regions: high plateau, valleys, humid tropics and El Chaco.

A National Agricultural Health and Food Safety Service will be established at the national and departmental levels.

Among the benefits of the program will be increased incomes for Bolivian farmers through technologies that will result in greater efficiency in production and improved quality of agricultural products.

The total cost of the program is $44 million, with $10 million in local counterpart funding.

Customs reform

A $5 million loan will assist the government in carrying out and enforcing the new Customs Act, particularly with regard to the court system. Clearance of imports will be expedited, and new information technology will be applied.

Compliance and goods-valuation operations will be strengthened in conformity with the Valuation Code of the World Trade Organization.

In addition, an ethics office will be established in the Customs Administration.**

The program’s total cost is $6.25 million, with $1.25 million in local counterpart funds.

The IDB-supported project is a component of a much larger customs modernization and reform program whose total cost is $30.5 million. Among the organizations supporting the overall program are the World Bank, the Nordic Fund, the government of Japan, and the International Monetary Fund.

During the 1990s the IDB provided Bolivia with two grants totaling $2.1 million to support technical assistance for customs reform and modernization that paved the way for the larger project now being implemented

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