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IFC FINANCES A CHEESE PROCESSING PLANT IN UZBEKISTAN


Brigid Janssen
Phone: (202) 458-4698
Fax: (202) 974-4384
E-mail: bjanssen@ifc.org


TASHKENT, UZBEKISTAN, November 30, 1999 – The International Finance Corporation today signed a loan of up to US$584,000 loan for the UzDutch Cheese Company to establish a cheese processing plant near Tashkent, helping to revive the regional dairy industry so that it can produce international-quality dairy products locally.
The UzDutch Cheese Company is a new joint venture between the Talisman Dairy Company of Uzbekistan and Cebeco International Projects, a Dutch agribusiness company. The $1.4 million project will allow up to 500 tons per year of high quality gouda cheese to be produced on Dutch equipment under the supervision of Dutch-trained cheese makers.
The project is designed as a model milk farm and cheese plant that will manufacture quality cheese with attractive packaging. The project will improve and raise local production capabilities of the dairy industry to international levels, reducing the demand for imports and providing local employment.
Uzbekistan is the most populous of the five Central Asian republics. About 60 percent of its 24 million people live in rural areas and depend on agriculture for their livelihood. The dairy industry in Uzbekistan suffered a serious setback in the mid-90's, when the newly privatized collective farms did not have resources to procure fodder. This curtailed milk production, resulting in a shortage of milk and dairy products in the country.
The project is a part of IFC's "Extending the Reach" Initiative, a program that fosters private investment in the small and medium-size business (SME) sector.
IFC, part of the World Bank Group promotes private sector investment in developing countries, which will reduce poverty and improve people's lives. It finances private sector investments, mobilizes capital in the international financial markets, and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses.