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IFC, GAFSP to invest $3.8m in Probiotech

Private sector lending arm of World Bank Group International Finance Corporation (IFC) and private sector window of Global Agriculture and Food Security Programme (GAFSP) are investing $3.8 million in Probiotech Industries to enhance poultry farm productivity and boost incomes in rural Nepal.

It is the IFC’s first investment in Nepal’s agribusiness sector, the IFC said, adding that Probiotech – in feed manufacturer – will use the funding to finance manufacturing capacity for value-added products like soy flour, nuggets and refined oil. “It will help the company to increase sourcing from over 8,000 farmers and food suppliers, and improve food safety standards.”

Probiotech is a sister concern of agribusiness-focused business house Nimbus Holdings.

“IFC’s global knowledge and expertise in the agribusiness sector will help the company to adopt best practices for production efficiency, environmental and social standards, and to upgrade technology,” managing director of Probiotech Industries Anand Bagaria said, adding that the project will help streamline the food supply chain leading to higher productivity and increased incomes for farmers.

The financing will also enable Probiotech to expand its procurement and distribution networks.

Currently, the company distributes its products through 100 registered dealers and 500 sub-dealers across 70 districts of Nepal.

“IFC’s support to Probiotech will help create jobs, both at the plant and farm level, and improve food and nutritional security for Nepal,” IFC director for Asia Pacific, Manufacturing, Agribusiness and Services, Vipul Prakash, said, adding that the economies of scale will help reduce broiler production costs, benefiting poultry farmers, government and small businesses.

IFC invested $ 4.5 billion across the agricultural value chain globally in 2013. IFC’s agribusiness strategy aims to promote inclusive growth and environmental and social sustainability in agricultural supply chains.

Likewise, Global Agriculture and Food Security Programme is a global effort that pools donor resources to fund programmes focused on increasing agricultural productivity as a way to reduce poverty and increase food and nutrition security.

It targets countries with the highest rates of poverty and hunger. The public sector window helps governments with national agriculture and food security plans. The private sector window, managed by IFC, provides long- and short-term loans, credit guarantees and equity to private sector companies to improve productivity growth, deepen farmers’ links to markets and increase capacity and technical skills.