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
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