EBRD invests in Moroccan bio-inputs and vegetable production

The EBRD says it is focusing on climate-change friendly solutions in Morocco and the surrounding region in the lead up to COP22 in Marrakesh this year.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is making several investments in Morocco in the lead up to COP22, which will be held in Marrakesh in November.

The bank is lending €24 million to the first dedicated southern and eastern Mediterranean (SEMED) biofertiliser producer, Elephant Vert, to boost use of more sustainable agriculture inputs. It is also providing a €2.5 million senior loan to Maïsadour Maroc and Maïsadour Agri Maroc, subsidiaries of French agricultural co-operative Groupe Coopératif Maïsadour, to help produce crops like sweetcorn, red berries and lettuce to international standards and implement good environmental practices.

The EBRD began investing in the region, which comprises Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia, in 2012.

The Elephant Vert will use the financing to develop, produce and distribute more biological fertilisers. If they replace chemical fertilisers, Morocco could save more 150,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emission equivalents each year, according to the EBRD. The company will also receive a grant from the EBRD’s Finance and Technology Transfer Centre for Climate Change programme, which supports the demonstration of climate technologies with low market penetration.

“Elephant Vert’s business model is based on recycling and contributes to the EBRD’s objective of supporting a more circular economy,” said EBRD industry, commerce and agribusiness director in the SEMED region, Adil Chikhi. “The production process consumes waste, leading to reduced landfills; and the final product is environmentally friendly, reduces water consumption in agriculture and fights soil degradation.

The bank has invested over €1 billion in 26 projects across Morocco. Investments include a wind farm, water conservation project and financial institution.