IFC invests $60 million in Romanian agribusiness

The investment into Smithfield Foods' Romanian subsidiary will be used to restructure debts and promote employment in the country's agribusiness sector.

The International Finance Corp (IFC) issued a $60 million loan to Smithfield Foods, a global food and agribusiness. The funding is targeted to help the company’s Romanian subsidiary restructure its debts and support its farm and processing facility growth plans.

Smithfield Romania, part of Smithfield Foods’ International Division, “will use the $60 million IFC loan to restructure debt, expand production capacity and employment, and continue implementing best practices throughout the company’s environmental, food safety and animal care systems,” Dariusz Nowakowski, president of Smithfield Europe, said in a statement.

Pork accounts for half of all protein consumption in Romania and demand for pork remains strong domestically and internationally, Nowakowski pointed out. The company is a leading pork producer.

Talking about the investment in Romania, “Its agribusiness sector holds great potential for generating employment and improving food security in the country and beyond,” Alzbeta Klein, IFC’s director for manufacturing, agribusiness and services, said in a statement. “IFC is investing in industry leaders who are transferring higher standards, improving efficiency, and helping Romania contribute to global food security.”

A member of the World Bank Group, IFC committed $20 million in equity capital to Agrivision Africa, a Zambian agribusiness, in late June. Earlier, IFC teamed up with Chinese agribusiness giant to boost investments in agriculture and food businesses across ten countries in South and South-East Asia. In April, IFC issued a syndicated loan of about $110 million to the ACLEDA Bank in Cambodia to promote financing to rural and micro businesses, including the ones in the agri sector.