SOFIA (Bulgaria), August 19 (SeeNews) - The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) said that it will provide a 12 million euro ($12.1 million) loan to Turkey's May Seed to bolster its operations and help it expand into new markets.
The loan, which will partially replace an existing EBRD credit line, will help the Turkish company upgrade facilities, enhance research and development (R&D) automation as well as strengthen its footprint at home and in existing markets, the EBRD said in a press release on Thursday.
More specifically, EBRD's financing will aid May Seed increase the use of drip irrigation in its sunflower seed production area to 100% from 84% within four years, thus growing water savings by around 40% and boosting yields by some 20%.
Founded in 1978, Bursa-based May Seed is active the in research and production of vegetable, field and industrial seeds for domestic and international markets. It has five R&D centres and two seed processing facilities, processing over 31 million tonnes per year. Products include field crops such as sunflower and corn and vegetables such as beans, tomato and spinach.
An EBRD-supported project to provide technical and vocational training to local seed growers is also on the cards, with May Seed targeting the training of 600 farmers in the Marmara and Southeastern regions of Turkey by 2024.
"Small local growers are at the heart of May Seed’s business model. However, their limited access to financial skills training holds them back from accessing new opportunities. The Bank will provide its own grant funds to finance May Seed’s comprehensive programme of financial and climate literacy and of sustainable farming, including environmentally friendly irrigation, drought precautions, ecology and new agricultural technologies," the European lender said.
The EBRD has invested over 16 billion euro in 376 projects in Turkey since 2009.
($ = 0.9916 euro)