The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is lending the local currency equivalent of €10mn to boost Romania’s agricultural sector.

The borrower is domestic agri financier Agricover Credit IFN, which will use the Romanian lei to allow access to finance for the country’s farmers. Agricover Credit IFN serves over 15% of the country’s professional farmers and its parent company Agricover Holdings provides agri finance to upwards of 4,500 Romanian farmers. The EBRD announced in October 2017 that it had bought a 13% stake in Agricover Holdings.

At the time, Matteo Patrone, EBRD regional director for Romania and Bulgaria, said of the shares purchase: “Small and medium-sized farms are a driving force of Romania’s agriculture. We are pleased to be partnering with Agricover Holding and we trust that our investment will strengthen farmers’ confidence as well as demonstrate the EBRD’s long-term commitment to Romania’s agribusiness sector.”

The funds will help the Romanian lender diversify its financing options and grow its share in the market, according to an announcement on the EBRD’s website.

According to its own figures from February this year, EBRD’s agribusiness, industry and commerce together comprise the largest proportion (35%) of its current project portfolio in Romania. Infrastructure receives the next greatest slice of investment (31%), followed by energy (20%) and financial institutions (15%).

To date, the development bank has disbursed €7bn in Romania.