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EBRD and Government hold workshop in Ankara on farmers’ access to finance

By Olga Rosca

Government officials, farmers’ associations, banks and IFIs come together to discuss agriculture lending and policies in Turkey
Support to Turkish farmers through policy and finance was the focus of a workshop held by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock of the Republic of Turkey in Ankara today.
The event brought together representatives of the Turkish government, the EBRD, the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), international financial institutions and Turkish banks as well as agribusiness associations.
Participants discussed Turkish farmers’ access to finance, programmes and instruments designed to support agricultural producers and the impact and effectiveness of government policies on primary agriculture.
Representatives of the Central Union of Agricultural Cooperatives, FAO and the leading agriculture lenders Rabobank (Netherlands), Rentenbank (Germany) and BGZ (Poland) shared best international practices and successful examples of innovative financial instruments for the sector.
Opening the conference, EBRD Director for Agribusiness, Gilles Mettetal said: “Agriculture is of key importance to Turkey in social and economic terms. But when it comes to access to finance, small producers’ financial needs are not fully met, which is holding agricultural development back. We are encouraged by the government’s and commercial banks’ commitment to facilitating access to finance and delivering more effective policies.”
The EBRD is a leading investor in Turkey providing finance to farmers through local intermediaries and directly. To date, the Bank has provided over €400 million in credit lines to Turkish lenders to secure long-term funding to micro and small enterprises in the agribusiness sector and invested over €300 million directly in agribusiness companies to help them grow and become more competitive.
In addition to financing the EBRD is also active in policy dialogue and promoting the sector and, strengthening the role of the private sector. The workshop provided an opportunity to deepen and expand this engagement. Around 10 per cent of the EBRD's annual investments are dedicated to the agribusiness sector in its countries of operations.
The Bank started investing in Turkey in 2009 and currently operates from offices in Istanbul, Ankara and Gaziantep. To date, the EBRD has invested over €4 billion in the country across 126 projects in infrastructure, energy, agribusiness, industry and finance. In just five years the EBRD’s portfolio in Turkey has become one of the largest among the countries where the Bank works.
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