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IFC, Austria to extend financing to Central Asian farmers
Central Asia | business | 12:21, 12 March 2014 | 1440

AKIPRESS.COM - ifc IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is helping agricultural producers in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan access bank financing, find markets, and grow, boosting sustainable production, the IFC's press service reported.

IFC's new advisory project will help farmers and agri-businesses become bankable through targeted training, supply chain development, and links to markets and financial institutions. IFC will also work with local financial institutions to develop lending tools unique to agri-financing and improve their risk management.

The countries' key strategic agriculture supply chains - cotton, apricots, and dairy produce - will be IFC's focus.

Agriculture plays a major role in the economies of Central Asia, where more than 60% of the total population is involved in the sector, said Mai Nguyen, IFC Access to Finance Program Manager. Through this program, IFC will encourage financial institutions and supply chain aggregators to target and service farmers and agri-businesses, increasing their output and capacity along the whole supply chain.

The new IFC advisory project is supported with funds from the Austrian Ministry of Finance. It builds on IFC's previous efforts to improve the enabling environment, expand access to finance, and build the capacity of farmers and agri-businesses in the region.

IFC is one of the largest foreign investors in agribusiness in Europe and Central Asia. In fiscal year 2013, it invested $442 million in 15 projects in the sector across the region.

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