SINGAPORE — Olam International Limited announced on April 19 that it has signed a five-year, $175-million loan agreement with IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, to finance four food processing facilities in Nigeria and India.

The financing will support the Crown Flour Mill facilities in Nigeria as well as sesame hulling and Hemarus sugar mill and spice processing facilities in India. These facilities help generate rural employment and provide market opportunities for smallholder farmers to sell their crops, thereby improving the livelihoods of local communities in the region.

“This latest investment strengthens our partnership with IFC,” said N. Muthukumar, Olam’s group chief financial officer. “These food processing facilities, located in India and Nigeria, help generate local employment and provide a ready buyer at market prices for farmers in the communities. Olam’s focus on inclusive growth, enabling economic prosperity and social and environmental sustainability in developing nations, is a perfect fit with IFC’s mandate.”

Olam purchased Crown Flour Mill, which is among the three largest wheat millers in Nigeria, in January 2010, and expanded the facility in 2011. The expansion included the addition of a semolina mill and a flour mill in Lagos, bringing total capacity to 2,380 tonnes per day. 

Earlier this year, Olam announced plans to acquire Amber Foods Limited, which through a subsidiary owns the wheat milling and pasta manufacturing assets of the BUA Group in Nigeria, The assets to be acquired include two wheat mills and a pasta manufacturing facility in Lagos, a non-operating mill in Kano in northern Nigeria, and a wheat mill and a pasta manufacturing plant under construction in Port Harcourt in the southeastern Nigeria.