Baztab News

World Bank Supports Raisin Production in Afghanistan

06 Jun 2018 Wadsam Afghanistan Business News

The World Bank is providing $3 million in financing and $7.8 million in political risk insurance coverage for a new raisin processing plant in Afghanistan to help develop the country’s raisin market and boost its agribusiness sector.

Agriculture is a key part of the Afghan economy, contributing 25 percent of GDP and supporting more than 80 percent of the population. 

The aid package is provided by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), members of the World Bank. 

The IFC-MIGA package will help the Rikweda Fruit Process Company develop a state-of-the-art raisin processing plant in Istalif. The aim is to double production levels and improve the quality of processed raisins with modern technology and food safety practices, boosting exports and improving the lives of local farmers.

“Afghanistan was once famous around the world for its raisins and we hope this project will put the country back on the global map for raisin production,” said Mase Rikweda, CEO of Rikweda Fruit Process Company. “The new plant will also help thousands of small local farmers, especially women and those in rural areas, to access the market.”

While Afghanistan’s climate is ideal for raisin production, less than 40 percent of its annual produce is currently exported due to instability, and poor quality and food safety standards. Afghanistan is also among the poorest countries in the world with poverty rates at around 40 percent.

“Nearly 90 percent of Afghanistan’s poor live in rural areas where agriculture plays a major role in their lives,” said Mouayed Makhlouf, IFC Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa. “Raisin processing can create entry points for farmers, including women, to participate in the value chain and improve the livelihoods of thousands of poor families.”

IFC is providing $3 million in financing to support the project. As well, IFC’s advisory services will help Rikweda provide guidance to small farmers to improve farming practices and implement harvesting, storage, and drying technologies. MIGA’s political insurance coverage will be against the risk of war and civil disturbance. MIGA ‘s support is considered critical for ensuring business continuity and increasing the bankability of the project in a highly volatile operating environment like Afghanistan’s. The Global Agriculture and Food Security Program’s Private Sector Window is providing a first loss guarantee of up to $1.25 million to IFC. 

The investors of the Rikweda Fruit Process Company Project applied for MIGA political risk insurance coverage of up to US$7.8 million in total for a period of up to 10 years against the risk of war and civil disturbance. Committed to supporting Afghanistan agribusiness sector, MIGA’s Board approved the project on March 8, 2018. MIGA is currently in discussions with the investors, aiming to execute the political risk insurance contract shortly.

This is the first IFC-MIGA joint project in the country and IFC’s first investment in Afghanistan’s agribusiness sector. The project demonstrates the World Bank Group’s Maximizing Finance for Development approach. The World Bank managed Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF) — is providing $190 million through an existing project to enhance farmers’ agricultural practices, introduce new technologies such as raisin drying and handling, and link farmers to markets, while IFC and MIGA are collaborating to catalyze private investments into the sector.

“Given the highly volatile and risky environment, we are expanding our efforts to mitigate the risks and enable sustained engagement in various sectors of Afghanistan, including agriculture, which is a major source of jobs in the country,” said Sarvesh Suri, Director for the MIGA Operations Group.

The project has the potential to improve livelihoods for about 3,000 smallholder farmers in remote rural areas by strengthening their access to the market, and promoting roles for women in agriculture. The project will also help avoid up to 3,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually once the facility is at full production; the adoption of commercial grade processing standards will reduce grape losses.

The International Development Association’s 2018 IFC-MIGA Private Sector Window has allocated $3.1 million in support of MIGA guarantees for the Rikweda Food Process Company in Afghanistan.

The post World Bank Supports Raisin Production in Afghanistan appeared first on Wadsam.

Original Link:

Open Original News

More from Wadsam Afghanistan Business News

  • Life-changing Inventions by Women 13 Jan 2019

    If you were asked to name an inventor, you’d probably say Thomas Edison or Alexander Graham Bell. Well, here is a list of some women who are inventors of some The post Life-changing Inventions by Women

  • Saudi Arabia To Cut Its Oil Exports By 10% Following Price Slide 10 Jan 2019

    Sauid Arabia announced on Wednesday it would cut its oil exports by 800,000 barrels per day (bpd) in January and would do a further cut of 100,000 bpd in February. The post Saudi Arabia To Cut Its Oil

  • Fun Facts About Major Companies Around the World 10 Jan 2019

    Coca Cola: During WWII, American soldiers would be provided with a bottle of coke so that they could have a taste of home. Bottling plants were established near Europe and The post Fun Facts About Major

  • Opening of Air Corridor Linking Afghanistan with Turkey & Europe 09 Jan 2019

    Afghanistan inaugurates its latest in a series of air cargo trade corridors on Wednesday. The Mazar-e-Sharif-Turkey-Europe air corridor was formally opened during a special ceremony at the Maulana Jalaluddin

  • Afghanistan Exported 5,400 Tons Of Goods Via Air Corridors 08 Jan 2019

    Afghanistan has so far exported 5,400 tons of goods worth USD 100 million through the air corridors that it has recently established with various countries.  So far 320 flights have The post Afghanistan

  • Major Petroleum Refinery To Open Soon in Herat 06 Jan 2019

    A major petroleum refinery is soon going to open in western Herat province by the private sector. Costing USD 15 million, the refinery is being built on 100 acres of The post Major Petroleum Refinery To

  • Afghanistan, Iran to Finalize Strategic Cooperation Document 02 Jan 2019

    Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Sayed Abbas Araqchi is expected to officially visit Kabul in the next two weeks to finalize the Iran-Afghanistan strategic cooperation document. The

  • Indian Company Takes Over Chabahar Port’s Operations 25 Dec 2018

    The operations duty of Iran’s strategic Chabahar port was officially handed over to India Ports Global Limited (IPGL) in a crucial trilateral meeting of representatives from India, Iran and Afghanistan The

Latest News: