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Uruguay to boost agricultural health and food safety services with IDB loan

Uruguay will strengthen the management of the Ministry of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries, with emphasis on agricultural health and food safety services with a $10.5 million loan from the Inter-American Development Bank.

The funds will help finance a government program that has two components. The first component will enable the delivery of improved services to the agricultural sector, which is the mainstay of the country's economy. This will be achieved through the development of a functional strategic plan, enhanced use of information and communication systems personnel training, and strengthened management capacity at the local level.

The second component of the program will support advances in veterinary and agricultural services through activities in three areas: developing a strategic technical management plan including environmental and biosafety aspects; improving the sanitary barriers through an integrated management system; and supporting the national laboratory system including process quality control and certification.

The loan is for a 25-year term, with a five-year grace period, and carries a Libor-based variable interest rate. The government will provide US$500,000 in counterpart funds.