Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN) – World Bank’s private sector lending arm IFC will provide a $15 million loan to Natore Agro, a subsidiary of food processing group PRAN, to expand production capacity. 
Officials of PRAN Group and IFC signed the agreement in the city recently.
This loan will be IFC’s third to PRAN Group. Prior IFC investments included a $15 million loan in 2009 to help increase production capacity in snacks, beverages, rice, dairy products and juice. 
A second loan of $7 million in 2011 helped the company expand its local dairy procurement and processing capability, which helped increase the incomes of about 17,000 Bangladeshi dairy farmers. 
PRAN’s latest expansion is in response to an increase in demand for packaged food products from both domestic and export markets. IFC’s continued support to the group helps increase the availability of affordable, quality food products, while ensuring that farmers are able to sell their products at a fair price. 
Amjad Chowdhury, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of PRAN Group, said, “IFC has once again responded proactively to our request for long-term financing. The current project will add momentum to our exports, while ensuring stable income for local farmers, increasing rural employment, and promoting small businesses in our distribution channel.” 
“In addition to providing a long-term loan, IFC’s advisory support to PRAN will allow it to compete better globally as it looks to expand its presence in foreign markets,” said Vipul Prakash, IFC Director of Manufacturing, Agribusiness and Services in Asia. “This is the first financing supported by the Private Sector Window of the Global Agricultural Food Security Program.”
BBN/SSR/AD-21Apr12-10:10 am (BST)