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IFC Announces $45 million Loan to Improve Shrimp Sector’s Resilience in Ecuador

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By Milthon Lujan

Shrimp farms in Ecuador will have better productivity with a new investment by IFC helping replace diesel with electricity for farm operations while addressing the environmental risks in shrimp production. The aim is to help improve the sector’s sustainability, supporting the nation’s climate targets.

IFC’s loan of up to $45 million to Industrial Pesquera Santa Priscila S.A., the leading shrimp exporter in Ecuador, will help the company expand its number of farms and improve their automation and productivity.

The shrimp sector is of vital importance to Ecuador’s economy, accounting for approximately 20 percent of the nation’s exports and 5 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). However, the sector faces a range of challenges related to low productivity and reliance on fossil fuels that deter the industry’s overall sustainability.

Raúl Estrada, Corporate Advisor of Santa Priscila, said: “IFC’s long-term financing, not readily available for agribusinesses—especially for investments in electrification of farms—will help grow our operations. With IFC’s support, we expect to increase productivity levels by more than 20 percent in terms of pounds of shrimp per hectare. IFC’s expertise will also help raise our operating standards in terms of environmental and social practices (E&S), corporate governance, and insurance, boosting our sustainability to meet the dynamic market demand.”

IFC’s funds will only be invested in farms that are adapted to replicate Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) or Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) certification standards, promoting good practices with sustainability benefits. Around 42 percent of the financing will contribute to climate mitigation, avoiding emissions of approximately 2,000 tons of CO2 equivalent annually.

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Alfonso García Mora, VP of Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean for IFC, said: “Addressing climate change and supporting long-term growth is a key priority for IFC in Latin America and the Caribbean. IFC’s investment will support one of the leading shrimp producers in Ecuador to expand, adopt more sustainable farming practices, and upgrade its farm infrastructure. This will promote competition and productivity growth in this important export-oriented sector, catalyzing the greening of the shrimp sector to tackle future shocks.”

Supporting investments that contribute to job preservation and exports is critical for the country’s post-COVID-19 recovery efforts.

About IFC

IFC—a member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work in more than 100 countries, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in developing countries. In fiscal year 2021, IFC committed a record $31.5 billion to private companies and financial institutions in developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity as economies grapple with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.

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