YANGON, MYANMAR — IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is providing a $3 million loan to SLCM Ltd., the Yangon-based subsidiary of Sohan Lal Commodity Management, a Delhi-based agri­logistics group. The goal is to reduce post-harvest loss in Myanmar.

According to IFC, poor storage conditions lead to product loss of 20% and its investment will help the company bring warehousing and allied services to Myanmar. The agency also hopes to help farmers store higher volumes and reduce post-harvest losses caused by infestation, excess humidity and inadequate storage.

“We have replicated our best practices and expertise in agriculture warehousing domain in Myanmar,” said Sandeep Sabharwal, group chief executive officer (CEO), SLCM.  “In the past five years, we have been able to reduce post-harvest losses to 0.5% in the country, thus helping every player in the farm-to-market chain. We intend to utilize the capital to further scale up our operations and expand our presence here.”

The SLCM Group entered the Myanmar market in 2014. It manages 3.24 million square feet of commodity storage space in 127 industrial zones and handles 521 commodities with a total volume of 10.14 million tonnes.

IFC will provide the loan to SLCM through its own account and in its capacity as an implementing entity of the private sector window of the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP).

“Myanmar’s agricultural sector is a key pillar of the economy and provides employment to about 53% of the labor force,” said Vikram Kumar, IFC manager for Myanmar and Thailand. “Further, developing this sector is key to helping people move out of poverty. A World Bank research has shown that progress in the agricultural sector was directly responsible for at least 46% of the reduction in poverty between 2005 and 2015.”

Agribusiness is a pillar of IFC’s work in Myanmar. IFC is an investor in the country’s agribusiness sector and works with local food producers and the government to provide training in food safety management systems, reforming regulations, and improving the business environment in this sector. IFC said it has invested $1.3 billion in Myanmar since 2013.