World Bank approves $341 mln loan to Turkey for 'green' agriculture

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Turkish villager Hasan Dogruyol (R) carries a sack of cotton as he works in a cotton field near the border town of Reyhanli on the Turkish-Syrian border, in Hatay province, November 4, 2012. REUTERS/Murad Sezer

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ISTANBUL, March 31 (Reuters) - The World Bank said on Wednesday it had approved a loan of $341.27 million as part of a project to support Turkey's agricultural sector and encourage the use of "climate-smart technologies."

The project aims to improve collection and use of information on 14 million hectares of soil and land, enhance disease surveillance in animals and help reduce carbon emissions, the World Bank said.

Agricultural expansion in Turkey is creating significant environmental and climate pressure due to the inefficient use of land, water and energy, while accounting for more than 13% of Turkey's greenhouse gas emissions, it said.

"We hope this partnership will contribute to putting the agriculture sector on a more competitive and sustainable growth path and help Turkey achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2053," said Auguste Kouame, World Bank Country Director for Turkey.

Turkey ratified the Paris climate agreement late last year, and has said it aims to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2053.

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Reporting by Nevzat Devranoglu Writing by Ali Kucukgocmen Editing by Mark Potter

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