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IFC Increases Access to Finance for Cotton Farmers in South Tajikistan


In Dushanbe:
Adkham Ergashev, IFC
Phone: +992 48 701 1464
Email: AErgashev@ifc.org

Dushanbe, Tajikistan, March 31, 2010—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, announced the results of its South Tajikistan Cotton Lending Project that was completed successfully in March. With support from the Canadian International Development Agency, IFC’s efforts to expand access to finance for cotton farmers in South Tajikistan resulted in almost $5 million of new loans from partner banks, Tojiksodirotbank and First Microfinance Bank.

IFC also helped its client farms increase yields and profitability significantly and improve the working conditions for women cotton workers.  An independent consultant, Andrina Lever, said the project had improved the livelihood of over 5,800 women working for cotton farms and their families.  The project received the runner- up position at IFC’s CEO Gender Award for 2010.  The yields of the project’s cotton farms were 37 percent higher than on those farms that were not part of the project.

Qurban Rahmatov, Deputy Chairman of Tojiksodirotbank, said, "TSB has been working with IFC for the past three years on cotton lending in the Kurgan-tube, Farhor, Kulyab, and Yavon branches, and the results have been outstanding.  We have lent almost $5 million, with over 96 percent of loans repaid.  As a result of the advisory services provided by IFC, we now have a sound methodology to lend to the cotton sector.  This project has shown us that we can do cotton lending in a profitable and sustainable manner."

Shahbaz Mavaddat, IFC Director for Southern Europe and Central Asia, said, “This project has strong demonstration effect, as other financial institutions have started lending to the cotton sector. As a result, cotton farmers have increased access to finance from the formal financial sector.”


IFC is the only international financial institution focused exclusively on the private sector, the engine of sustainable development in emerging markets.  Along with IBRD, it is currently seeking a capital increase to strengthen its ability to create opportunity for the poor in developing countries—including by advising cotton farmers in Tajikistan on agronomic techniques and working condition issues.
 
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 $ 14.5 billion in fiscal 2009, helping channel capital into developing countries during the financial crisis. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.

About Canadian support
The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) is Canada’s lead agency for development assistance. CIDA’s aim is to: manage Canada’s support and resources effectively and accountably to achieve meaningful, sustainable results and; engage in policy development in Canada and internationally, enabling Canada’s effort to realize its development objectives. For more information visit: www.cida.gc.ca.