WB will expand agricultural lending in Azerbaijan

Business Materials 30 November 2010 18:08 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, Nov. 30 / Trend N.Ismayilova /

The World Bank (WB) plans to extend funding under the "Azerbaijan Rural Investment Project" (AzRIP) in 2011, WB Baku Office Head Joseph Owen said on Tuesday.

"The Bank is in talks with the Azerbaijani government, but the exact amount of the loan has not yet clarified," Owen said.

The bank manager did not rule out the possibility that this amount will exceed the volume of loans previously allocated by the bank under the AzRIP.

Owen said the WB is ready to expand agricultural lending.

The Bank financed only projects that support the rehabilitation of agricultural infrastructure under the AzRIP, but now the WB is interested in financing profitable subprojects.

Earlier AzRIP Director Subhan Asgerov said the approximate amount of the Bank's loan for the project will be roughly $ 50 million, but its total cost may be higher, depending on talks with the Government

According to him, no direct lending to a particular business will be implemented within the project, but opportunities will be created for entrepreneurs to do business. As an example Asgerov mentioned a project to build warehouses for the storage of fruits and vegetables.

A loan agreement on the AzRIP project was signed on Sept. 23 in 2004 and took effect on Dec. 29 in the same year. The project costs $21.1 million. A total of $15 million falls to loan of the International Development Association, $3.3 million - grant of the Japan government and the remained part - $1.250 million to the Azerbaijani government and beneficiaries (communities).

The Azerbaijani government and World Bank signed a loan agreement worth $21.5 million on extra financing the AzRIP in April.