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IFC invests $35 million in the expansion of Belagrícola, supporting small and medium farmers in Brazil


In São Paulo:
Patricia Carvalho, IFC
Phone: (55 11) 5185-6873
E-mail: pcarvalho@ifc.org

In Londrina:
Fábio Jacob, Belagricola
Phone: (55 43) 3377-8691
E-mail: fabio.jacob@belagricola.com.br

São Paulo, July 22, 2016 —IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, announced an investment of $35 million to support the expansion of Belagrícola, one of Brazil’s leading distributor of agricultural inputs and grain originator, supporting the sustainable growth of the agribusiness sector, which is key to the Brazilian economy due to its significant contribution to job creation and to the country’s trade balance.

IFC seven-year financing, with a six-year grace period, will support Belagrícola’s growth by providing a permanent working capital line of credit, enabling the company to increase the supply of agricultural inputs, the provision of technical assistance and pre-harvest financing for about 15,000 small and medium-sized farmers in the states of Paraná, São Paulo, and Santa Catarina, in the southern part of Brazil.

“Given IFC’s high financial, social and environmental standards, this partnership represents the recognition of Belagrícola’s successful efforts for the past three years to increase the professionalization of its management team,” says Fabio Jacob, Belagrícola’s CFO. “Furthermore, Belagrícola reiterates its commitment to improve corporate governance practices and strengthen its board of directors, which now has two new independent members.”

Brazil is one of the world’s largest producers and exporters of agricultural commodities. It is the second largest producer of soybeans and third largest producer of corn globally. Exports of agricultural products accounted for about 46 percent of Brazil’s exports in 2015 and generated a $ 75 billion surplus in the country’s trade balance. Nevertheless, there is still scarcity of pre-harvest financing to rural producers, in particular to small and medium-sized farmers.

“We are pleased to have Belagricola as IFC’s first direct investment in a distributor of agricultural inputs in Brazil,” says Luiz Daniel de Campos, Principal Investment Officer, Agribusiness Department, IFC Brazil. “This financing will enable Belagrícola to expand its support to the grain production chain in the regions where it operates, thus helping to boost agricultural productivity. The agribusiness sector is an IFC priority as it helps to improve food security and to increase rural income, promoting inclusive growth and reinforcing sustainable environmental and social practices.”

IFC promotes inclusive economic development in agribusiness by financing its complete value chain. In fiscal year 2015, IFC invested globally US$3.2 billion in the entire agribusiness production chain — from farming to the retail trade — in order to help increase production liquidity, and improve logistics and distribution, as well as to expand access to credit for small farmers. In that same fiscal year, IFC’s global portfolio in agribusiness totaled US$5.2 billion. In the past five years, IFC invested US$570 million in the agribusiness and food sectors in Brazil alone.

About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. Working with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, we use our capital, expertise, and influence, to create opportunity where it’s needed most. In FY15, our long-term investments in developing countries rose to nearly $18 billion, helping the private sector play an essential role in the global effort to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit www.ifc.org

About Belagrícola
Founded in 1985, Belagrícola started its operations as a distributor of agricultural inputs in the city of Bela Vista do Paraíso, in Paraná state. Since then, the company’s activities have evolved to include a variety of services to farmers, such as crop financing, technical assistance, precision farming, storage and acquisition of grains. Belagrícola presently operates in the states of Paraná, São Paulo, and Santa Catarina through 55 branches and counts with a network of 38 unites of storage silos. The company serves about 15,000 farmers covering an area of approximately 3.5 million hectares. For more information, visit www.belagricola.com.br.