IFC, BNP Paribas Team Up to Boost Agriculture Financing in Sub-Saharan Africa, Eastern Europe

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, launched a risk-sharing facility today with BNP Paribas (Suisse) SA that will improve access to finance for the agricultural sector in Sub-Saharan Africa and Eastern Europe, enabling increased production in some of the world’s poorest countries.

The facility will provide $100 million for up to three years to support the financing needs of agricultural firms through the IFC Global Warehouse Finance Program. IFC and BNP Paribas will partner to provide borrowers with short-term loans against the value of their produce, using warehouse receipts or similar stock-financing instruments.

“With IFC’s partnership, we will be able to expand lending to our clients in the agricultural sector in Sub-Saharan Africa and Eastern Europe, providing them with much-needed liquidity,” said Cinzia Maurer-Tatti, Global Head of the Transaction Bank Group at BNP Paribas.

The program will enable the increased production of export commodities—including cashews, cocoa, and coffee—to spur trade and economic development in low-income countries such as Burundi, Cote d’Ivoire, and Uganda. It will also help boost the availability of critical cereals like corn, rice, and wheat to promote local food security.

Georgina Baker, IFC Director, Global Trade and Supply Chain Solutions,

said: “This project will improve food security and promote exports by reaching agricultural players in emerging markets. We are pleased to partner with BNP Paribas, a leader in commodity finance in the developing world.”

IFC started the Global Warehouse Finance Program in 2010 to increase working-capital financing for farmers, traders, and exporters in emerging markets, by leveraging their own production. The program is expected to reach up to 208,600 farmers across emerging markets in all regions and contribute to food availability for 7.5 million people by 2014.

About IFC

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. We help developing countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, providing advisory services to businesses and governments, and mobilizing capital in the international financial markets. In fiscal 2011, amid economic uncertainty across the globe, we helped our clients create jobs, strengthen environmental performance, and contribute to their local communities—all while driving our investments to an all-time high of nearly $19 billion.

For more information, visit www.ifc.org.

Source: International Finance Corporation (IFC) – The World Bank – Press Release – 3 April 2012