By SEAN GLEESON | FRONTIER
YANGON — The International Finance Corporation has inked an agreement to fund the expansion of Myanma Awba Group Co. Ltd’s chemical business with a view to boost supply for smallholder farmers.
The first phase of the agricultural firm’s 125-acre facility in Hmawbi, on the northern outskirts of Yangon Region, is currently under construction and expected to open in early 2017.
The IFC, an arm of the World Bank, announced on Tuesday it would provide US$10 million of the estimated $15 million capital needed to finance the plant.
Once operational, the complex is expected to meet up to half the national demand for pesticides and other crop protection products, Myanma Awba spokesman Ko Aung Htet told Frontier.
The agreement also provides for IFC assistance in corporate governance reforms and an overhaul of social and environmental management.
“Our support to Myanma Awba Group will facilitate improvements in agricultural productivity and create much-needed jobs along the agricultural value chain,” IFC country manager Vikram Kumar said in a Tuesday press release.
The IFC has extended loans to numerous Myanmar enterprises in recent years.
In April, the IFC announced a US$7.5 million package to underwrite an expansion of Myanma Awba’s rural finance business unit.
Yoma Bank received $5 million in 2014 to help the lender improve its corporate governance and risk management practices. In January, retail giant City Mart Holdings was provided with $25 million to build an additional 20 supermarkets across the country and improve supply chain efficiency.