Wednesday 07 December 2022

Vietnamese farmers to receive funding to expand sustainable practices

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Thanks to a new deal signed between the Asian Development Bank (ADB), a regional development bank headquartered in Mandaluyong, Philippines and Tokyo-based Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Vietnamese smallholder farmers will receive financial support to develop a more inclusive and sustainable agricultural value chain.

The US$163 million agreement will provide loans for Olam International Limited (OIL) – an agribusiness operating across the value chain, and Café Outspan Vietnam Limited (COVL), a subsidiary of OIL.

More than 20,000 farmers involved

OIL and COVL will directly offer support to more than 20,000 Vietnamese farmers, as well as those from Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Timor-Leste, in expanding their production and improving livelihoods by promoting inclusive and sustainable development.

Accordingly, Café Outspan’s Agricultural Value Chain Development Project will support OIL’s US$211 million investment plan until 2019 by financing an expansion in the firm’s processing of midstream products, while providing permanent working capital investments for smallholder farmers, particularly in coffee, cashew nut, cocoa and pepper cultivation in the aforementioned countries.

Adding more value in local markets

The assistance will also help OIL to develop processing plants to create a more seamless integration of farmers, markets, and customers, adding more value in local markets and improving agricultural value chains.

Promoting climate-smart agriculture practices

The project, which is ADB’s first non-sovereign assistance directly co-financed by JICA, includes US$3 million in technical assistance, partially financed by the Canadian Climate Fund for the Private Sector in Asia, to provide capacity building training to smallholder coffee farmers across the project countries. The technical assistance includes training in avoiding deforestation and increasing productivity through climate-smart agriculture practices, including water harvesting and soil management.

Becoming stewards of the environment

This loan agreement underpins the mutual aims of Olam, ADB, and JICA to support the economic prosperity of farmers, as well as helping them to become stewards of the environment, which is essential for the future of agricultural production, said Prakash Jhanwer, Regional Head for South East Asia at Olam International.

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