LONDON, ENGLAND – In a new boost to agribusiness in Turkey, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is providing a €20 million loan to Yayla Agro, a family-owned producer of pulses and rice in Turkey.

A development and investment program is set to spur the competitiveness of this fast-growing local firm, the EBRD said. Competitiveness is among the six qualities the EBRD has identified as the characteristics of a successful economy, which should also be well-governed, green, inclusive, resilient and integrated.

A €6 million portion of the total loan amount will be extended by the Taiwan International Cooperation and Development Fund (TaiwanICDF), which is in charge of Taipei China’s overseas development program. It is the first EBRD co-financing with TaiwanICDF in Turkey’s corporate sector and part of the bank’s efforts to attract new institutional investors to the country.

Yayla Agro is headquartered in Ankara and runs plants in Mersin in southern Turkey as well as in Kazan in the province of Ankara, with an overall capacity of 820,000 tonnes per year. The company exports to more than 45 countries and has almost tripled its sales over the past three years. It is now planning to increase its share of sales in value-added products.

As part of this strategy, Yayla Agro is setting up a new plant in Mersin for organic ready-to-eat products. The EBRD’s long-term loan will finance the investment and related working-capital needs. It also will refinance shorter-term loans.

Jean-Patrick Marquet, EBRD managing director for Turkey.

“The nature of Yayla Agro’s business requires the company to be able to buy a sufficient quantity of legumes at harvest and throughout the year,” said Jean-Patrick Marquet, EBRD managing director for Turkey. “The bank’s loan will provide long-term financing to support the company’s day-to-day operations, refinance existing loans and help it venture into the new “ready-to-eat” niche which will help Yayla Agro conquer new markets.”

EBRD said the loan will improve the company’s corporate governance to continue its transformation from a family business to a modern corporation.

“Yayla Agro are working hard to be among the best firms in terms of responding to the consumption habits of customers through our R&D and market research,” said Hasan Gümü?, chairman of the Yayla Agro board of directors. “We are shaping our production, supply chain and product range for the future with a view to adding value for all our customers. We have customers in national and local supermarkets, discount markets, and through home-based shopping channels and dealers in local and international markets. We work hard to add value by improving our healthy, delicious, value-added product range every day.”