Tunisia

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) says it will provide up to €22 million to the Groupe Oléicole Tunisien (CHO) to invest in new equipment in Tunisia.

Development Diaries understands that the company, which has been an important IFC partner in Tunisia since 2015, is expected to use the funds as working capital.

The renewed partnership, according to IFC, is also expected to help strengthen linkages with farmers and create new jobs in the agriculture sector as Tunisia recovers from the economic effects of Covid-19.

About 60 percent of Tunisia’s population are poor or vulnerable and the Covid-19 pandemic has made the situation worse, according to the World Bank.

The bank noted in a report that the North African country’s growth and fiscal outlook is weaker than before as a result of the pandemic.

It is understood, according to the World Bank, that Tunisia’s recovery will require more stability and a joint national effort to steer the economy to the right path.

Besides financing, IFC says it will also provide advisory services to smallholder olive farmers in CHO’s supply chain to help them improve productivity.

That will include training in the use of sustainable agricultural practices, including micro-irrigation techniques, which are expected to boost farmers’ resilience to climate shocks and reduce the volatility of production.

More than 13 percent of Tunisia’s population is reliant on all types of agriculture for employment and CHO employs more than 720 people directly and supports about 140,000 farmers in its supply chain.

‘Olives are the lifeblood of many rural communities across Tunisia, the second-largest exporter of olive oil in the world’, CHO Deputy General Manager, Rym Makhloufi, said.

‘This partnership with IFC will help CHO grow and further promote our brand, Terra Delyssa, creating opportunities in the regions that need them most’.

For his part, IFC’s Resident Representative in Tunisia, Georges Joseph Ghorra, said, ‘Supporting a company like CHO and the thousands of farmers who rely on it for their livelihoods will help create jobs and rekindle economic growth as Tunisia recovers from Covid-19.

‘IFC’s long-term financing, with an eight-year tenor, is a strong testament to our additionality in the Tunisian market as a countercyclical development partner’.

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, advances economic development and improves the lives of people by encouraging the growth of the private sector in developing countries.

It has committed more than $1billion from its own account in Tunisia, helping to improve the environment for private sector-driven job creation.

Source: TAP

Photo source: Dennis Jarvis

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