IFC partners with Tunisian olive oil producer CHO to promote job creation, sustainability
IFC announced a financing and advisory services package for CHO Group, Tunisia's olive oil producers and exporters, to help the company expand production and create jobs in the agriculture sector.
IFC will provide up to €22 million in financing to CHO, an important IFC partner in Tunisia since 2015. The company will use the funds as working capital and to invest in new equipment. The renewed partnership will also help strengthen linkages with farmers and create new jobs.
Besides financing, IFC will also provide advisory services to small-holder olive farmers in CHO's supply chain to help them improve productivity. This will include training in the use of sustainable agricultural practises, including micro-irrigation techniques, which are expected to boost farmers' resilience to climate shocks and reduce the volatility of production.
The olive oil industry is a crucial part of Tunisia's rural economy. More than 13 percent of Tunisia's population is reliant on all types of agriculture for employment. CHO employees more than 720 people directly and supports about 140,000 farmers in its supply chain.
"Olives are the lifeblood of many rural communities across Tunisia, the second-largest exporter of olive oil in the world," said Rym Makhloufi, CHO's Deputy General Manager. "This partnership with IFC will help CHO grow and further promote our brand, Terra Delyssa, creating opportunities in the regions that need them most."
"Supporting a company like CHO and the thousands of farmers who rely on it for their livelihoods will help create jobs and rekindle economic growth as Tunisia's recovers from COVID-19," said Georges Joseph Ghorra, IFC's Resident Representative in Tunisia. "IFC's long-term financing, with an eight-year tenor, is a strong testament to our additionality in the Tunisian market as a countercyclical development partner."
IFC has committed more than $1 billion from its own account in Tunisia, helping to improve the environment for private sector-driven job creation, creating economic opportunities in lagging regions, and building skills development.