Press Releases

IFC Investing $10 Million to Help Modernize Operations of Turkey's May-Agro Seed Company

Washington, D.C.:
Irina Likhachova
Phone:  (202) 473-1813

Başak Pamir Ülgen
Phone: +90 (212) 385-3075

Istanbul, Turkey,  June 19, 2009—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has agreed to invest $10 million to help May-Agro Seed Company, a leading Turkish seed company, modernize its agribusiness operations.

IFC’s investment will enable Bursa-based May-Agro, one of Turkey’s largest locally owned private seed companies, to undertake a corporate- wide capital investment program to upgrade its existing seed plants, greenhouses, and research and development center over the 2009 to 2012 period. With the investment program, May-Agro is aiming to expand its exports, which currently generate 15 percent of the company’s sales.

 “With IFC’s support, May-Agro will have the opportunity to grow further by increasing emphasis on research and development of strategic species and patented seeds,” said Mehmet Ali Yormazoglu, Chairman of May-Agro. “With the investment projects, we will increase the number of farmers reached by 40 percent by 2011 and will support the development of Turkish agribusiness.”

Shahbaz Mavaddat, IFC Director for Southern Europe and Central Asia, said: “IFC is pleased to help May-Agro strengthen its market position by expanding its research and development program, especially at a time when capital resources are limited. The size of Turkey’s agricultural-seed market is about $450 million and the country is expected to become a hub for supplying high-quality seeds to neighboring economies with matching climate conditions for seeds developed in Turkey. With this new investment, May-Agro will also play a key role as an exporter of high-quality seeds from Turkey to the region.”

Oscar Chemerinski, IFC Director for Agribusiness, said: “The investment in May-Agro, IFC’s first direct investment in a seed company, is in line with IFC’s strategy to support the agribusiness value chain, including inputs such as seeds. Disease-resistant and better performing seeds increase farm yields and productivity.

About IFC  
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, creates opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We foster sustainable economic growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development, mobilizing private capital, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. Our new investments totaled $16.2 billion in fiscal 2008, a 34 percent increase over the previous year. For more information, visit

About May-Agro Seed Company
May-Agro is engaged in research, production, and sales of vegetable seeds and seedlings, field, forage, and industrial crops in domestic and international markets. May-Agro is Turkey’s largest private local investor in the seed sector with over 300 employees, including 100 agricultural engineers, and more than 15,000 tons of seed production and processing capacity. For more information, visit