One of the EBRD’s key aims is to support the development of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) which are crucial to nurturing a private sector economy. To do this, we may make equity and loan financing available to SMEs through a range of intermediaries throughout the countries where we work.

 

These intermediaries include banks in which the EBRD has an equity stake or with which it has signed a loan, and investment or venture capital funds in which the EBRD has made an investment. The EBRD may also provide direct financing and support for SMEs through a number of loan and equity facilities. Financial and operating leases for small businesses cover a range of goods such as commercial vehicles, equipment and machinery.

The EBRD aims to maximize the region’s agricultural potential by addressing specific needs of companies through tailored financing. Our involvement in the agribusiness sector spans all activities throughout the value chain; from farming processing and trading to food distribution, packaging and retail.

Once referred to as the ‘bread basket of Europe’, our region accounts for around 20 per cent of the world’s potential arable land. With €10 billion invested in the agribusiness sector since 1991, the EBRD’s main focus is to help the region move further towards fulfilling its potential as the world’s “bread basket”.

The EBRD offers various forms of financing, including tailored long-term loans, working capital loans, commodity finance, equity, guarantees and multi-project facilities. Each is individually designed to meet the changing needs of agribusiness companies across the region.

In addition to investments, the EBRD also supports advisory services for agribusiness companies with the aim of scaling up private sector participation and making food production more efficient and more sustainable.

By fostering strong links with the private sector, governments and other development partners, the EBRD aims to enhance agribusiness value chains and promote transition across the region.

Addressing the growing challenges that the agribusiness sector faces in the EBRD regions, the Bank has launched its new strategy for the sector for the period 2019 to 2023.

Population growth and shifting dietary requirements are predicted to lead to a 50 per cent increase in food demand by 2050 which will have a clear impact on finite natural resources and the environment.

The EBRD’s new agribusiness strategy recognises the diversity of the economies where the Bank invests and responds to a changing environment by adopting a responsible, sustainable and innovative approach. The EBRD stands ready to support its approach with finance, technical cooperation and policy engagement. The Bank’s involvement in the sector extends from primary agriculture along the entire value chain.

Natalya Zhukova, EBRD Director for Agribusiness, welcomed the approval of the document by the Bank’s Board of Directors: “The EBRD is the largest provider of finance to the agribusiness sector in its regions of operations. Food plays a fundamental role in our lives and an innovative mind set is needed to move towards a sustainable future in this sector.”

The document recognises the need to find a balance between demand for agricultural produce and the impact that production processes often have on the environment. The strategy will be implemented with a tailored approach along the entire value chain to efficiently increase food production and preserve natural resources while reducing the environmental and social impact of agribusiness.

In the economies where it invests, the EBRD is the most active multilateral institution in the agribusiness sector. The strategy will be implemented with an approach that is tailored to each of these economies.

Between 2010 and 2017 the Bank invested €6.7 billion in 447 projects across the agribusiness sector, which represents 8 per cent of the EBRD’s cumulative annual investment over that period.