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Mahyco to expand cotton business in sub-Saharan Africa

Mahyco International is planning to raise $20 million from the International Finance Corporation (IFC). This will be part of the $26 million that the international arm of Maharashtra Hybrid Seed Company has earmarked to expand its cotton business in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and its rice and brinjal business in Asia. IFC will offer flexible, long-term funding.

IFC proposes to support the project with $20 million in funding, comprising a $10 million equity investment from IFC’s own account and a $10 million equity investment in its capacity as implementing entity of the private sector window of the global agriculture and food security program (GAFSP). The balance is proposed to be funded through internal accruals, according to a report in a top Indian business daily.

The project comprises funding technology costs, working capital needs, pre-commercialisation costs and capital expenditure in several countries in Africa, including Nigeria, Malawi, Kenya, Zambia, Tanzania and Burkina Faso, and those in Asia, including Bangladesh, Vietnam, Indonesia, the Philippines, Laos and Cambodia.

According to an IFC document, the project is expected to improve farmers’ incomes in SSA through job creation for seed-producing contract farmers, most of whom are small holders. It is also expected to limit health risks for cotton farmers as the use of insect tolerant seeds reduces the need for pesticides.

Founded in 1964, Mahyco India is one of India’s largest seed companies. Mahyco India’s subsidiary, Mahyco International Pte Ltd (Mahyco International) incorporated in Singapore, is the holding company for the Mahyco’s international operations and owns operating entities that sell cotton seeds in SSA and rice seeds in Vietnam and Bangladesh.

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