EBRD supports climate resilience in Turkey

By Nibal Zgheib

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  • EBRD provides €12 million loan to May Seed
  • Funds to expand company’s operations, research and development capacity
  • Technical and vocational training for skilled farmers, women and young farmers

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is extending a €12 million loan to May Seed, one of the leading seed producers in Turkey.

The EBRD loan will help May Seed expand its operations, renovate production and research and development (R&D) facilities, enhance the automation of R&D and partially replace an existing EBRD loan. The financing will strengthen the company’s position in Turkey and existing export markets and help it venture into new export markets.

Promoting resilience to the climate crisis, the Bank’s funds will support May Seed in a plan to increase the use of drip irrigation in its sunflower seed production area from 84 per cent to 100 per cent within four years. This will reduce water usage, increase water savings by around 40 per cent and boost agricultural productivity by approximately 20 per cent in terms of yields.

Providing new economic opportunities for people in remoter regions of Turkey, May Seed will also develop and implement an EBRD-backed advisory project to provide technical and vocational training to local farmers who grow seeds.

Small local growers are at the heart of May Seed’s business model. However, their limited access to financial skills training holds them back from accessing new opportunities. The Bank will provide its own grant funds to finance May Seed’s comprehensive programme of financial and climate literacy and of sustainable farming, including environmentally friendly irrigation, drought precautions, ecology and new agricultural technologies. By 2024, May Seed aims to have trained 600 farmers in the Marmara and South Eastern regions of Turkey, with around 20 per cent of these trainees likely to be women.

Young farmers will also have access to a vocational programme including classroom and on-site training, which is expected to receive national accreditation from a Turkish university.

May Seed won the Gold Award in the category of Gender and Inclusion in the EBRD’s 2021 Sustainability Awards.

The EBRD is a leading institutional investor in Turkey. Since 2009, it has invested more than €16 billion in 376 projects in the country, with the overwhelming majority of those projects being in the private sector.

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