IFC, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, has signed an agreement with Wadi Holdings, one of Egypt’s largest integrated agribusiness companies, to support its expansion plans. The US$25mn loan will help the company improve the efficiency of its poultry operations and food production and expand its olive groves and exports of glass food containers.
Musa Freiji, president of Wadi Holdings, says, “IFC’s involvement will help accelerate our development according to international standards. The corporation will also play a key role in developing modern poultry production and food processing in the Middle East.”
Declan Duff, IFC vice-president for industries, says, “Agribusiness is a key sector for IFC in emerging markets, helping increase opportunities for people living in rural areas. In Egypt, agriculture accounts for almost one-third of the country’s employment. Our support to the sector can help create jobs and fuel economic growth.”
In June 2005, IFC invested US$15mn in Wadi Holdings for key upgrades. The investment provided employment opportunities for about 750 people. IFC also helped the company implement best practices for biosecurity during the avian influenza outbreak in Egypt in early 2006.
IFC then collaborated with the company to convene an avian flu conference in Egypt, bringing together the poultry industry and the government to share valuable operational and commercial lessons.