A member of the World Bank Group, International Finance Corporation (IFC), has announced that it will invest US$6 million in a private Nigerian firm, Saro AgroSciences Ltd., a leading distributor of herbicides and insecticides in the country. to help boost agriculture.
The local media Monday quoted the IFC as saying the investment would support the expansion of the company’s distribution capacity and increase access to agrochemicals for over 500,000 smallholder farmers by 2016.
“Supporting agribusiness is a key priority for IFC in Africa as it generates employment and promotes economic development. IFC will help Saro AgroSciences to implement environmental and social standards in the crop protection sector and reduce the country’s food import bill, which is one of the highest in Africa,” the IFC said.
It said the loan would help the firm to increase its distribution network from 82 to 300 outlets across Nigeria, and also widen its technical assistance programme for farmers to increase their yields.
Saro AgroSciences Chief Executive Officer Oluwole Adeyegbe said the loan would be a boost to the company’s efforts to develop agriculture in Nigeria and other African countries by providing safe and reliable crop protection and products for farmers.
“IFC’s support enables us to fulfil our commitment. Saro AgroSciences, as a leader, is therefore further strengthened and positioned to help more farmers to increase crop productivity, enhance food security, and boost economic development,” he said.