Bangladesh food

Olam secures $200m fee for food inputs in Nigeria and others

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

A new $200 million loan has been secured by Olam Agri, the Singapore-based subsidiary of Olam Group, to supply food to more than 40 million people in Nigeria and other emerging markets.

The credit facility was provided by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the world’s largest development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets.

Olam Agri will use the funds to purchase wheat, corn and soybeans in Canada, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania and the United States for delivery to the company’s processing operations and customers in Nigeria, Bangladesh, in Cameroon, Chad, Egypt, Ghana and India. , Indonesia, Pakistan, Senegal, Thailand and Turkey.

According to a statement, the loan will further support key food flows to developing countries, which have depended on supplies from the Black Sea region.

The objective is to help mitigate food price inflation, particularly in fragile, conflict-affected and poorer countries that are net food importers, are among the most affected and where food purchases food accounts for a disproportionate share of disposable income.

“This facility further helps us continue to provide staple crops and food security to some of the most populous countries in Asia and Africa most at risk of global food inflation,” said N Muthukumar, Chief Operating Officer at Olam Agri “We are delighted to continue our longstanding partnership with IFC, in line with Olam Agri’s focus on improving access to food and nutrition for the most vulnerable. and on strengthening global food security.

“The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine and climate change are having disastrous effects on food security in developing countries, wiping out years of hard-won development gains,” said Rana Karadsheh, Director regional industry, manufacturing, agri-food. and Services, Asia-Pacific at IFC. “Our partnerships with key agricultural commodity trading companies such as Olam Agri are key to maintaining the flow of essential food staples between surplus and deficit countries, ensuring better food security for the poorest and poorest populations. most vulnerable in the world.

It was gathered that the IFC extended this facility to address food insecurity, especially for poor and vulnerable people who have been hit hard by food inflation.

Food prices have increased significantly over the past two years, driven by the effects of COVID-19, adverse weather events and the war in Ukraine.

The number of food insecure people around the world has been increasing every year since the start of the pandemic, and more than half of the world’s countries are experiencing a worsening of the situation. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, around 928 million people were severely food insecure in 2020, an increase of 148 million from 2019.

The situation has been exacerbated by the war in Ukraine, which has impacted exports from that Eastern European country and Russia, which collectively produce many of the major food commodities, including wheat and corn, as well as energy, fertilizer and key components for fertilizer production. , resulting in increased production and transportation costs.

Adverse weather conditions and droughts in major producing countries, including Argentina, Brazil and the United States, have worsened the outlook, prompting calls for action from the public and private sectors.