05 Jul 2022 — Olam Agri has been tasked with buying wheat, maize and soy in bulk, processing it and delivering it to developing countries that rely heavily on imports of these staple foods after the International Finance Corporation (IFC) provided a US$200 million loan to facilitate the process.
The loan will clear the way the delivery of millions of metric tons of staple foods to Bangladesh, Cameroon, Chad, Egypt, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Senegal, Thailand, and Turkey. It will help feed more than 40 million people facing food insecurity.
“Partnerships with key agricultural commodity-trading companies such as Olam Agri are crucial to maintaining the flow of critical food staples between countries with surpluses and deficits, ensuring better food security for the world’s poorest and most vulnerable populations,” says Rana Karadsheh, regional industry director, manufacturing, agribusiness and services, Asia Pacific, IFC.
Alleviating food insecurity
The wheat, maize, and soy will be bought from Canada, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, and the US and delivered to Olam’s processing operations.
The initiative is part of IFC’s global efforts to address food insecurity in light of rising food prices driven by COVID-19, adverse climate events, and the war in Ukraine.
“The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine, and climate change are having disastrous effects on food security for developing countries, erasing years of hard-won development gains,” adds Karadsheh.
The number of food-insecure people worldwide has been steadily rising since the onset of the pandemic. The situation has impacted exports from Ukraine and Russia, which collectively produce a large share of key food commodities, including wheat and maize, as well as energy, fertilizer, and key components of fertilizer production, resulting in rising production and transportation costs.
Poor climate conditions and droughts in key producing countries, including Argentina, Brazil, and the US, have worsened the situation.
IFC has provided more than US$5 billion in commitments to Singaporean clients in the last decade to support its expansion into emerging markets and developing economies.
Edited by Inga de Jong
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