Press Releases

IFC, MIGA Support Raisin Production in Afghanistan

In Cairo:
Riham Mustafa, IFC

Phone: +(202) 2461-4230


In Washington, DC
Vamsee Kanchi, MIGA

Phone: +(202) 458-9771


Kabul, Afghanistan, June 4,2018—IFC and MIGA, members of the World Bank Group, are 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 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.

Creating Markets Video: Watch how IFC is helping improve Afghanistan’s raisins industry. Click here  

About IFC
IFC—a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in the toughest areas of the world. In FY17, we delivered a record $19.3 billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to help end poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit

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About MIGA

MIGA was created in 1988 as a member of the World Bank Group to promote foreign direct investment in emerging economies by helping mitigate the risks of restrictions on currency conversion and transfer, breach of contract by governments, expropriation, and war & civil disturbance; and offering credit enhancement to private investors and lenders.

This year marks MIGA's 30th Anniversary.  Over the last three decades, MIGA has directly supported almost $47 billion in investments for over 830 projects in 111 developing countries. For more information, visit

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The Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP) is a global effort that pools donor resources to fund programs focused on increasing smallholder agricultural productivity as a way to reduce poverty and increase food and nutrition security. GAFSP targets countries with the highest rates of poverty and hunger. The Public Sector Window helps governments with national agriculture and food security plans. The Private Sector Window, managed by IFC, and supported by the governments of Australia, Canada, Japan, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States, provides long- and short-term loans, credit guarantees, and equity to private sector companies and financial institutions to improve smallholder productivity growth, improve their access to markets and finance, and increase capacity and technical skills.