International Finance Corporation (IFC), the World Bank’s private lending arm, will give a $10 million convertible facility to Myanmar Awba Group Company Ltdfor the latter’s expansion of agribusiness.
The local agricultural inputs producer aims to introduce advanced formulation and environmental technology to Myanmar and boost production capacity to ensure quality products’ availability for smallholder growers. The plant is expected to meet up to 50 percent of the demand for crop protection chemicals in the country.
The facility will help Awba to proceed with the first phase of the Hmawbi Agricultural Input Complex, a formulation plant for crop protection products, located 30km north of Yangon. It will be the first and only modern crop protection plant in Myanmar that meets environmental criteria set by the World Bank Group to date, IFC claimed.
“Establishing the new facility maintains Myanma Awba Group’s ongoing commitment to bring world-class technology to Myanmar farmers,” said U Thadoe Hein, chairman and group CEO.
“We’re delighted that IFC shares our positive view of the future of agriculture in the country and the role it will play in rural economic development”.
Myanmar’s crop yields have lagged behind those of neighbouring countries despite similar agri-ecological conditions. Myanma Awba Group helps local farmers to boost yields by educating growers on how to use modern agricultural technology and introducing contemporary growing practices.
Myanma Awba Group expects the new complex to create about 500 full-time and part-time jobs and to support a grower base of over three million farming families across the country.
“Our support to Myanma Awba Group will facilitate improvements in agricultural productivity and create much-needed jobs along the agricultural value chain,” said Vikram Kumar, IFC country manager for Myanmar.
“Supporting agribusiness is one of IFC’s priorities in Myanmar as it helps increase rural income and promote inclusive growth for about 70 percent of the country’s labour force working in this sector.”
In addition to financing, IFC will help the company pursue sustainable operations by adopting good corporate governance practices, implementing an enhanced environmental and social management system and improving microfinance capacity.
IFC has scaled up its global agribusiness investments in recent years. For the fiscal year ending in June, IFC invested $3.4 billion across the agribusiness supply chain – from farm to retail – to help boost production, increase liquidity, improve logistics and distribution, and expand access to credit for small farmers. IFC’s agribusiness portfolio as of June stood at $5.6 billion.