JALALABAD, KYRGYZSTAN — The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) along with Kyrgyz Investment and Credit Bank (KICB) is providing a four-year, $4 million loan to Elnur Dan LLC for construction of a flour mill in Jalalabad, Kyrgyzstan.

Elnur Dan is a private firm established in 2004 and is the country’s third largest flour producer. EBRD noted that flour is the single most important food for the Kyrgyz population of nearly 5.8 million people. Thirty-eight percent of the local diet is based on flour in some form.

Elnur Dan’s existing mill on the outskirts of the capital, Bishkek, produces 38,000 tonnes of flour annually and 4,000 tonnes of pasta. The new mill’s equipment is being imported from Turkey and will be built in the country’s most densely populated region, Jalalabad, where 1.1 million people live.

At present, the south of Kyrgyzstan depends partly on flour supplies from the north of the country. These have to be transported by road, which raises costs for the local population. Elnur Dan’s new mill in southern Kyrgyzstan will have the capacity to produce up to 170 tonnes of flour a day. By comparison, the capacity of the mill in Bishkek is 225 tonnes of flour a day.

The loan to Elnur Dan is being made under a special financing facility through which the EBRD and its partner banks can lend together to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

“Supporting small and medium-sized businesses is one of the bank’s most important priorities in the country,” Larisa Manastirli, head of the EBRD office in Kyrgyzstan said. “The new production facility in the south of the country will help to create jobs and will make this important food much more accessible to the local population. We are proud to support Elnur Dan together with our partners at KICB. The project will also receive support from the European Union through their Investment Facility for Central Asia (IFCA).”