Ecuadorian shrimp industry secures $45m loan from IFC

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Shrimp farms in Ecuador will have improved productivity thanks to a new investment from IFC helping to replace diesel with electricity for farming operations while addressing the environmental risks of shrimp production. The aim is to help improve the sustainability of the sector, supporting the country’s climate objectives.

IFC is a member of the World Bank Group and is the world’s largest private sector-focused development institution in emerging markets. The agency works in more than 100 countries and uses its capital and expertise to create markets and opportunities in developing countries.

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

The shrimp sector is vitally important to Ecuador’s economy, accounting for approximately 20% of the country’s exports and 5% of gross domestic product (GDP). However, the sector faces a series of challenges related to low productivity and reliance on fossil fuels that undermine the overall sustainability of the industry.

Raúl Estrada, Santa Priscila Business Advisor, said, “IFC’s long-term financing, which is not readily available to agribusinesses, particularly for farm electrification investments, will help to develop our operations. With support from IFC, we expect to increase productivity levels by more than 20% in terms of pounds of shrimp per hectare. IFC’s expertise will also help raise our operating standards in terms of environmental and social (E&S) practices, corporate governance and assurance, thereby strengthening our sustainability to meet dynamic market demand.

IFC funds will only be invested in farms suitable to replicate Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) or Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) certification standards, promoting good practices with sustainability benefits . Around 42% of the funding will contribute to climate change mitigation, avoiding emissions of around 2,000 tonnes of CO₂ equivalent per year.

Alfonso García Mora, Vice President 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 the Americas. Latin and the Caribbean. IFC’s investment will help one of Ecuador’s leading shrimp producers grow, adopt more sustainable farming practices, and modernize its agricultural infrastructure. This will foster competition and productivity growth in this important export-oriented sector, catalyzing the greening of the shrimp sector to cope with future shocks.

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