India and Japan sign MoUs for irrigation, water resource management

A bilateral MoU in the domains of irrigation, water resource management and sustainable development between India and Japan has been approved by the Cabinet

March 23, 2021

The Ministry of Jal Shakti and Department of Water Resources, River Development, and Ganga Rejuvenation are participants.

Knowledge Management, Technology Infusion as well as potential projects in Delta Management are priority areas.

Japan’s focus on social development through access to water, sanitation and healthcare makes it an apt ally for grassroots agricultural partnerships.

2014-2018 saw a sustained increase in ODA through loans from Japan in sectors like agriculture and healthcare.

An Indo-Japan Memorandum of Understanding in the domain of water resource management and irrigation was approved by the Cabinet today. The MoU will further bilateral cooperation in the maintaining of sustainable water resources for agriculture and to strengthen water security. Efforts will be undertaken to increase knowledge management and technology infusion while assessing the domains for potential bilateral projects in delta management and related fields. An official statement further elaborated on the development  as follows “The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi was apprised of the Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) signed between Department of Water Resources, River Development, and Ganga Rejuvenation, Ministry of Jal Shakti, Government of India and Water and Disaster Management Bureau, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism of Japan in the field of Water Resources” 

Japan appears to be a favourable bilateral ally in social sector development owing to the nation’s focus on improving public access to quality healthcare, water resources, education,  sanitation and livelihoods. On the agriculture front, Japan has spearheaded campaigns to enhance afforestation and bring more attention to climate change and its effects on the environment. The nation is also synonymous with stringent phytosanitary standards on chemical as well as agricultural imports and exports. India has also been a recipient of Official Development Assistance (ODA) in sectors including agriculture, sustainability, power, communication, healthcare and transportation among others. The 2014-2018 period witnessed the signing of several loans in the aforementioned domains for the uptake of crucial bilateral projects. 

Rajni Jain, Prabhat Kishore and Dhirendra Kumar Singh outline the problems faced by the Indian agricultural landscape as follows : (i) limited groundwater resources, (ii) irregularities in rainfall patterns, (iii) poor management of on-field water resources, (iv) prevalence of drought in several agricultural regions across the nation. Irrigation and sensitive water management policies are the need of the hour in fostering growth within the sector and increasing crop output. Bilateral agreements in the domain can help the sector achieve resilience and self-sufficiency in the long-term.