IFC invests in Mali mineral lime producer to boost agribusiness, support mining sectors’ local content
17-11-2020 07:28:00 | by: Pie Kamau | hits: 6164 | Tags:

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, announced an investment in Carrières et Chaux du Mali (CCM) to help the company increase production of agricultural lime and quicklime, essential inputs that will strengthen Mali's important agriculture and mining industries, creating jobs, and spurring economic growth.

With IFC's support, CCM will increase its annual production capacity of quicklime from 16,500 tons per year presently to 30,000 tons by 2023, while developing the capacity to produce 50,000 tons of agricultural lime per year. This will help position the company as a primary supplier to local and regional export markets.

Mining companies in Mali have traditionally relied on European imports of quicklime, which is used extensively during the recovery of gold. Agricultural lime is a by-product of quicklime. It helps increase the pH of acidic soils, facilitates the absorption of nutrients (such as fertilizers) and increases agriculture productivity.

The investment consists of a loan from IFC and the International Development Association's Private Sector Window (IDA-PSW) of up to €8.92 million equivalent in XOF. It is IFC's first local currency financing in Mali in support of the manufacturing, agribusiness, and services sectors.

Madani Diallo, CEO of CCM, said: "IFC's support will help us reduce our production costs by up to 20 percent and give us the opportunity to better meet the growing local demand for quicklime and agricultural lime. We will also strengthen our regional influence by exporting agricultural lime to neighboring farmers in Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea, and Senegal."

Aliou Maiga, IFC's Director for West and Central Africa, said: "Our investment in CCM will help create opportunities in two important economic sectors, mining and agriculture, which together contribute about 40 percent of Mali's GDP and provide 65 percent of the country's jobs. This project, which will also boost Malian exports to the regional market, is timely as Mali strives to accelerate economic recovery in the face of COVID-19."

In addition to the investment, IFC is developing an advisory project that will help Malian farmers increase their yields for targeted crops by properly and efficiently using agricultural lime.

Mali's agricultural land is estimated at 2.4 million hectares, but about two-thirds has only limited productivity. Applying agricultural lime, especially to areas of lower productivity, has the potential to improve soil quality and boost yields.