Investment will boost use of innovative and environmentally-friendly agricultural inputs
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is supporting the increased use of sustainable climate-friendly agricultural inputs with a €24 million loan to Elephant Vert, a Morocco-based producer of bio-fertilisers, bio-pesticides and bio-stimulants. Elephant Vert is the first company in the southern and eastern Mediterranean (SEMED) region exclusively dedicated to the development and production of a full range of these innovative bio-inputs.
The EBRD’s financing will allow Elephant Vert to significantly boost the development, output and distribution of these biological products, which are used to increase agricultural yields while remaining cost-efficient and environmentally friendly. The switch away from chemical fertilisers should lead to significant greenhouse gas emission savings of over 150,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalents each year in Morocco.
Adil Chikhi, EBRD Director for Industry, Commerce and Agribusiness in the SEMED region, said: “Elephant Vert’s business model is based on recycling and contributes to the EBRD’s objective of supporting a more circular economy. The production process consumes waste, leading to reduced landfills; and the final product is environmentally friendly, reduces water consumption in agriculture and fights soil degradation.”
Laurent Chabrier, EBRD Director for Morocco, said: “We are very pleased to support this innovative and research-intensive project, which proves that Morocco is a fertile ground for new ideas. It comes at a very timely moment, just months before COP22 when the world will gather in Morocco to continue working on viable solutions to fight climate change.”
Sébastien Couasnet, CEO of Elephant Vert, said: ‘“We have ambitious plans and were looking for a reliable long-term partner to finance our expansion. We found this partner in the EBRD. The Bank’s support goes beyond what you would expect from a financing institution.”
Elephant Vert is also a pioneer in Morocco in terms of providing career opportunities for women so, in addition to the loan, the company will receive support from the EBRD’s Gender Advisory Services to further strengthen its equal opportunities policies. The project will also benefit from a grant under the EBRD’s FINTECC (Finance and Technology Transfer Centre for Climate Change) programme, which supports the demonstration of climate technologies with low market penetration.
The EBRD started investing in Morocco in 2012. To date, the Bank has invested over €1 billion in 26 projects across the country.