International Finance Corporation (IFC), the lending arm of the World Bank ,has extended a financing facility of $10 million to Myanma Awba Group Company Ltd, for the development of a crop protection plant in the country.
Myanma Awba is into manufacturing agricultural inputs and microfinance.
IFC’s financing is towards the establishment of an agricultural input complex and a formulation plant for crop protection products located in Hmawbi, north of Yangon, according to a press release.
“Establishing the new facility maintains Myanma Awba Group’s ongoing commitment to bring world-class technology to Myanmar farmers,” said U Thadoe Hein, Chairman and Group CEO.
The investment by IFC could be converted into equity as the stock market slowly develops in the country, said Aung Htet, marketing and communications manager of Myanma Awba.
The group is aiming to introduce advanced formulation and environmental technology through its manufacturing complex and meet 50 per cent of the country’s demand for these products.
Some of brands that Myanma Awba produces include Myanma Awba, Wisarra, Myanma Kaung Thu Kha and Evogro.
The loan by IFC was proposed in February 2016 to support the $25-million project. The fund will also be used for the manufacturing chain of the plant including packaging, seed production to its microfinance operations.
Set up in 1995, Myanma Awba is owned by Thadoe Hein, and currently connects about 3 million farmers throughout the country.
“Our support to Myanma Awba Group will facilitate improvements in agricultural productivity and create much-needed jobs along the agricultural value chain,” said Vikram Kumar, IFC Country Manager for Myanmar.
Myanma Awba’s business units include Myanma Awba Agrochemical, Piti Pyae Sone Co Ltd, Ayeyarwaddy Seeds, Myanma Awba Fertilizers, Myanmar Pesticides Industries Co Ltd and Maha Awba Microfinance.
Increasing the quality of productivity and overall development of agricultural sector plays an important role for Myanmar with the average yield and labor productivity is ranking one of the lowest among Asian countries.
“Supporting agribusiness is one of IFC’s priorities in Myanmar as it helps increase rural income and promote inclusive growth for about 70 percent of the country’s labor force working in this sector,” said Kumar.
IFC’s investment in global agribusiness reached $3.4 billion across the supply chain for the fiscal year ending June 2016. The agribusiness portfolio as of June 2016 stood at $5.6 billion.