The EBRD is supporting Turkey’s SMEs in the agricultural sector with a US$65mn loan to Türk Ekonomi Bankası (TEB).

The EBRD loan is part of the bank’s €400mn agribusiness SME financing facility (TurAFF) launched in November 2011 to support the growth of agribusinesses operating predominantly in Turkey’s rural areas.

The proceeds of the loan will finance the investment needs of agribusiness enterprises, develop the sector, and support TEB’s drive to increase its availability of longer-term SME funding.

Although corporate and consumer lending is improving in Turkey, access to financing remains limited for small companies in the agribusiness sector, the EBRD says. The small business sector is a key driver of the Turkish economy, providing around 80% of the country’s employment, while agriculture accounts for around 10% of the GDP.

Since the beginning of the EBRD’s operations in Turkey, the bank says it has invested over €1.7bn in various sectors of the country’s economy, and has mobilised additional investment in excess of €3bn.