EBRD to boost Bulgarian agriculture

20.09.2016

In a new boost to Bulgaria’s agriculture, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is providing a €5 million ($5.59 million) loan to Elana Agrocredit, a local business offering long-term financial lease contracts to farmers seeking to acquire agricultural land.

This is the second EBRD loan for the company and aims to support the development of Bulgaria’s agricultural land market. EBRD said as the economic significance of agriculture is growing, private land ownership is expected to lead to further investments that will modernize the sector and support the sustainable use of land.

According to the EBRD, arable land accounts for 50% of Bulgaria’s territory but only 23% of it is currently owned by farmers. The remainder belongs to individuals, institutional investors, municipalities and the state.

“We are pleased to be helping Bulgarian farmers to become landowners,” said Suma Chakrabarti, president of the EBRD. “Ownership of the land will give them the confidence to undertake long-term investments resulting in improved yields and more sustainable practices.”

A joint-stock company, Elana Agrocredit is listed on the Bulgarian Stock Exchange and owned by local institutional investors and individuals. Elana Agrocredit is licensed by the Bulgarian National Bank as a credit institution.

“We are very pleased with our long-term relationship with the EBRD,” said Kamen Kolchev, chairman and chief executive officer of Elana Agrocredit. “Thanks to the bank’s support Elana Agrocredit has become the preferred partner for Bulgarian farmers.”

The EBRD said it has invested over €3.3 billion in more than 230 projects in Bulgaria. Approximately 80% of the bank’s investments in Bulgaria are in the private sector.

In Bulgaria, the EBRD focuses on enhancing the competitiveness of companies, including small and medium-sized enterprises, through improved efficiency, governance and innovation; strengthening financial sector intermediation; and narrowing the infrastructure gap through commercialization, reform and efficiency.



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