Sahanala has secured a €20 million investment loan from The European Investment Bank (EIB) – the lending arm of the European Union.
Sahanala is a social enterprise working in agriculture and fishing in Madagascar, aiming to support economic development and improve the daily lives of its main shareholders – the farmers and fishers, and the communities and families that depend on them – notably through the creation of more than 1,500 jobs.
The loan will be used to increase sustainable food production for the domestic market and for export; the initiative is designed to reduce reliance on imports of maize and rice to meet local demand.
The EIB deal, which is the first for Madagascar’s agricultural sector since 2005, will support an overall investment of €40 million by Sahanala.
Supporting two projects, the loan will be used to promote agricultural mechanisation alongside traditional farming practices in Maintirano, western Madagascar. It will also cover the development of an industrial complex to process maize, rice, oils and animal feed for the domestic market, which will help raise revenues and improve the living conditions of producers.
The second project will involve the construction of a modern collection centre with refrigeration equipment in Vohémar, northern Madagascar. It aims to promote responsible fishing and will enable small-scale fishers to sell goods in the domestic and international markets.
Sahanala also plans to train producers to comply with environmental standards while protecting biodiversity and natural resources, ensuring sustainable long-term development. Sahanala expects to become the first Malagasy company exporting seafood products certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC).
Sahanala says it is also committed to strengthening equal opportunities in the agriculture sector, encouraging women to take on management responsibilities and providing them with access to training, financial services and information.
EIB vice-president Ambroise Fayolle said: “This project will make a significant contribution to Madagascar’s food security and improved livelihoods from sustainable agriculture and fishing. As the EU climate bank, the EIB is pleased to support Sahanala’s efforts to ensure sustainable practices, improve biodiversity and strengthen resilience to climate change, which are key objectives of the European Union’s Global Gateway strategy.”
Serge Rajaobelina, CEO of Sahanala, said: “Sahanala and its partners are empowering Malagasy farmers to improve their living conditions in a sustainable manner by enabling them to sell their products at a fair price, by respecting their know-how and by encouraging them to do their bit for local development and for the environment.”
He continued: “Sahanala is owned by farmers – they are the ones deciding the company’s strategy. Each project, like these two, stems from their work as a community and enables us to invest in emerging sectors. Our mission is clear: to promote economic development among local communities through a fair and responsible approach.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2023