Kiev on Tuesday expressed the hope to raise a $3-billion loan from the Export-Import Bank of China (China Exim Bank) to support the development of Ukraine's irrigation system.
"Today we are in talks with China Exim Bank, and our negotiations actually reached the finish line. Exim Bank will provide a loan to the Ukrainian government for restoration of the country's irrigation system," Ukrainian Agriculture Minister Mykola Prysyazhnuk told a press conference here.
The loan which has a repayment time of 15 years will carry an interest rate of 6.5 percent, Prysyazhnuk said, adding that there will be a five-year grace period, during which Ukraine is obliged to pay only the interest rate.
Prysyazhnuk said the funds will be used to install and repair drip-irrigation systems over an area of 1.2 million to 1.4 million hectares in Ukraine over the next few years.
Ukraine with a farmland of around 60 million hectares currently has only around 400,000 hectares covered under irrigation.