AfDB and ECOM sign $ 60 million loan to support smallholder farmers’ livelihoods

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The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and ECOM Agroindustrial Corp. Limited (ECOM) signed a loan of up to $ 60 million to help maintain the livelihoods of smallholder farmers amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic and improve their ability to withstand the impacts of change climate.

The loan will support the continuation of ECOM’s operations in India, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea (PNG) and Viet Nam by financing stocks of coffee and cocoa purchased from more than 27,800 smallholders. It will also finance advance payments and extension services to farmers to provide cash and support to these farmers and reduce the impacts on their activities of disruptions to agricultural value chains caused by the pandemic. The extension services provided by ECOM focus on improving the capacity of farmers to adapt to climate change by introducing sustainable farming techniques, data solutions and financial knowledge.

“Climate change and the ongoing pandemic are increasing pressure on smallholder farmers in Asia and the Pacific. COVID-19 has reduced their income and made it more difficult for them to invest in climate change resilient measures, ”said Martin, head of the AfDB’s Agribusiness Investment Unit. The monk. “Commercial banks are reducing their exposure to commodity players. AfDB’s support to agricultural traders like ECOM will help close this financing gap and ensure reliable incomes for farmers, enabling them to take action to adapt to climate change.

An accompanying technical assistance grant will build capacity in climate-smart cocoa and coffee best practices and financial education in Indonesia and PNG, further supporting farmers after the pandemic. The technical assistance will benefit around 4,000 farmers and will also promote gender-neutral practices. The grant includes $ 205,000 from the ADB Special Technical Assistance Fund for COVID Recovery and $ 425,000 from the Strategic Climate Fund, administered by the ADB.

The borrowers are ECOM Agroindustrial Corp. Limited (AACL), the ultimate holding company of ECOM incorporated in Switzerland, and ECOM Agroindustrial Asia Pte. Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of AECL, incorporated in Singapore.

ECOM is the world’s largest coffee grinder and one of the world’s leading traders of coffee, cocoa and cotton. He works with more than 800,000 farmers in 40 countries. As an integrated commodity initiator, processor and merchant, ECOM focuses on partnering with smallholder farmers to provide traceable and certified products to manufacturers of branded products.

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