The IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is providing $24 million in financing -through IFC's syndication program- to Zalar Agri, one of Morocco's leading fruit producers, as part of an effort to create jobs and spur export-led economic growth in rural Morocco.
The financing will help the company expand its fruit and nut growing operations, creating both permanent and seasonal jobs in Morocco's countryside. This impact is considered important in a nation where rural poverty rates are twice those of urban areas.
"We are proud of this partnership with the IFC, a high-profile international investor who will allow us to reinforce our Group's institutionalization and expand and diversify our farming operations into many highly-growing agricultural varieties, while enhancing in parallel our downstream capabilities", said Farouk Chaouni, Chairperson of Zalar Agri. "IFC's support will also help us expand our processing operations and develop exports, creating good jobs and added value in the places that need them the most."
According to an article on northafricapost.com, the financing is part of a larger IFC push to spur the development of sustainable agriculture in Morocco's farming sector, which employs 37 percent of Moroccans, and helps local producers break into lucrative foreign markets.