WASHINGTON, D.C., November 4, 1998 ---
The International Finance Corporation today approved a US$12 million loan
to Argentina's third largest dairy cooperative, Association Union Tamberos
Cooperativa Ltd. (AUTCL), to support the development and modernization
of the dairy sector.
The project will help secure AUCTL's long term milk supply – processed
by its subsidiary, MILKAUT S.A. – by helping its farmers to boost productivity,
reduce their production costs and improve handling. Loans averaging $40,000
will go to some 300 dairy farmers in the cooperative to finance pasture
improvements and buy milking and cooling equipment.
Financing to individual farmers will be channeled through Banco Roberts,
one of the largest commercial banks in Argentina, which will act as administrative
Tei Mante, IFC Director for Agribusiness said the project will make the
farmers in the cooperative more competitive, substantially increase their
annual net income, and improve the quality of milk. The project also demonstrates
IFC's commitment to support Argentine's agricultural sector, which accounts
for 60 percent of the country's exports.
AUTCL was established in 1925 by farmers of Swiss and Italian origin. Membership
of the cooperative is currently 1,237 dairy farmers, 90 percent of whom
are located in the province of Santa Fe.
This is IFC's second investment in AUTCL; in 1995, MILKAUT received $44.5
million in IFC financing to upgrade and expand its industrial capacity.
As of September 30, 1998, IFC's investment portfolio in Argentina amounted
to $990.7 million, accounting for 9.1 percent of IFC's net portfolio. In
the fiscal year ending June 1998, IFC invested $170 million in seven projects
in Argentina, ranging from agribusiness and manufacturing to education
IFC, part of the World Bank Group, fosters economic growth in the developing
world by financing private sector investments, mobilizing capital in the
international financial markets, and providing technical assistance and
advice to governments and businesses.