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IFC’s $50m loan to support sustainable ag in Argentina

The funds will be used to improve sustainability of Adecoagro’s rice, oilseed and dairy operations in Argentina amid recent improvements in the agribusiness environment.

International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the World Bank, has provided a $50 million loan to Adeco Agropecuaria and Pilaga designed to support efficient farming and food processing in Argentina.

IFC provided a $25 million facility to the local subsidiaries of South American agroindustrial company Adecoagro and mobilized the additional $25 million from Rabobank and Banco Itau.

The funds will be used to implement water-efficient rice farming; switch away from diesel to power for water pumps; implement no-till technology for oilseed production, designed to conserve water and reduce soil erosion; and add new equipment and breeding facilities to dairy operations.

The investment comes amid broader foreign investor interest in Argentina as relationships improve following the election of centre-right Maurico Macri late last year.

“Though in the past it was completely off the radar, foreign investors are starting to look to Argentina as a potential country to invest in,” IFC’s principal agribusiness investment officer, Guillermo Foscarini, told Agri Investor.

A decrease in export taxes on key crops, the elimination of export permit requirements and a relaxation of restrictions on foreign land ownership are among the measures the new government has implemented.

At a panel on emerging markets at the Agri Investor Forum in Chicago last month, FMO director of Agribusiness Suzanne Gaboury, recalled how a recent trip to Argentina revealed a mixture of optimism and apprehension in the agricultural sector.

“There’s a lot of pent up demand, there are a lot of pent up projects and initiatives that people are doing,” she said. “There will be a number of large announcements in the coming months, a number of very, very large transactions that some of the big global players are involved in.”