SIFCA secures EUR 90m from Proparco to develop agribusiness in West Africa
Proparco, a subsidiary of the French Development Agency (AFD), has announced that it has allocated a EUR 90 million loan to SIFCA Group to finance the agricultural investments of its subsidiaries including a 46 MWe biomass power plant in Côte d’Ivoire.
According to a statement, Proparco has organized the loan with co-financing from its Dutch counterpart, FMO, and Société Générale. The credit facility will support the growth of a major agro-industrial player and will thereby contribute to the economic and social development of the region.
Operating in three commodity segments – palm oil, sugarcane, and natural rubber – SIFCA Group is an agro-industrial leader in West Africa and active across the value chain, from plantations to the processing of raw materials and finished and semi-finished goods.
Headquartered in Côte d’Ivoire, SIFCA along with its ten or so subsidiaries operate in Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, and Senegal, employs over 33 000 staff and sources its raw materials from over 110 000 smallholders.
Strong economic and social impacts
According to Proparco, the EUR 90 million credit line made available to SIFCA will be used to finance its investment plan. The project is supporting the growth of a player operating in rural areas and post-conflict countries and will thereby have strong economic and social impacts.
Over the next five years, the extension of activities brought about by this project will help create or maintain over 180 000 direct and indirect jobs in the five countries in question – some 33 000 direct jobs and 150 000 indirect jobs, through small family farms.
The project will contribute to training and transferring technology and know-how as SIFCA offers technical assistance to farmers to train them in good agricultural practices. The growth in SIFCA’s activities supported by this financing will also allow a local value chain to be developed and will increase the supply of basic necessities.
Cooking oil and sugar production, which are basic necessities, will be earmarked for local markets and will replace imports from Asia, which is anticipated to lower the prices of basic foodstuffs and will contribute to food self-sufficiency in West Africa. All of the rubber will be exported as there is no tyre production unit in the region.
SIFCA regularly maintains and rehabilitates roads, and manages schools, clinics, infirmaries and infrastructure to supply running water which employees, their families, and neighboring communities have access to.
Part of the investment also includes the Biokala project, a joint venture between ESIFCA and EDF to establish a 46 MWe biomass power plant that will use palm waste and supply power to the grid.
This financing is in line with our mandate to support agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa, particularly in certain Least Developed Countries and post-conflict countries. This financing will be combined with an Environmental and Social Action Plan which will allow us to help SIFCA and its subsidiaries improve their E&S practices, said Delphine Moreau, agribusiness expert in Proparco’s Industry, Agriculture and Services Division.