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Mykolaiv, Ukraine, September 20, 2005
- The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, launched its Southern Ukraine Vegetable Supply Chain Development Project. The three-year initiative will work with farmers in Southern Ukraine to help them expand and improve access to markets and attain long-term sustainability. The project is funded by the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida).
The project will advise private farmers that produce vegetables and fruit on farm man-agement skills, product quality, and modern sales and marketing techniques in order to help them become suppliers to large food processors in the region. One of such compa-nies is Sandora Ltd., Ukraine’s number one producer of branded packed juices and nec-tars, and an IFC investment client. The project will also provide legal support to farmers in structuring supply contracts with major food processors.
“Technical assistance will use the momentum created by IFC’s investment in Sandora to help bring farms to international standards of competitiveness” said Ebbe Johnson, Pro-ject Manager of IFC’s Southern Ukraine Vegetable Supply Chain Development Project.
“Agribusiness is a key focus of IFC’s technical assistance in Ukraine because of the rich natural potential of the country, and the positive impact that its development has on peo-ple who reside in rural areas. IFC and Sida share a common development mandate, and this project is a further achievement in our successful cooperation” said Ian Luyt, Senior Operations Manager, IFC Agribusiness Technical Assistance Programs.
The Ambassador of Sweden to Ukraine, John-Christer Ahlander, said that “Ukraine is a country of priority for Swedish development cooperation. Sweden plans to double its cooperation with Ukraine by the year 2008. Current annual support amounts to approxi-mately USD 9.0 million to fund expert assistance in democracy, social development, economic development, security and environment”.
For the editor
The International Finance Corporation is the private sector arm of the World Bank Group and is headquartered in Washington, D.C. IFC coordinates its activities with the other institutions of the World Bank Group but is legally and financially independent. Its 178 member countries provide its share capital and collectively determine its policies.
The mission of IFC is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing and transition countries, helping to reduce poverty and improve people’s lives. IFC finances private sector investments in the developing world, mobilizes capital in the international financial markets, helps clients improve social and environmental sustainability, and pro-vides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses. From its founding in 1956 through FY05, IFC has committed more than $49 billion of its own funds and arranged $24 billion in syndications for 3,319 companies in 140 developing countries. IFC’s worldwide committed portfolio as of FY05 was $19.3 billion for its own account and $5.3 billion held for participants in loan syndications. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
Ukraine became a shareholder and a member of IFC in 1993. As of September 1, 2005, IFC has invested around $470 million in 22 projects. IFC expanded its investment pro-gram in Ukraine significantly in 2004-2005, committing $255 million in the agribusiness, financial, and general manufacturing sectors. IFC has also been conducting an extensive advisory program since 1992, which initially focused on the privatization of small busi-nesses, land, and idle construction sites. Current donor-funded programs offer advice on corporate governance, leasing, and agribusiness. Programs also seek to improve the busi-ness environment and promote the growth of small and medium enterprises.
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