MOROCCO – The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has announced that it is providing a MAD 55 million (US$5.6 million) loan to support the expansion plan of Al Dahra Holding subsidiaries in Morocco, Al Dahra Morocco Factories (ADFAC) and Al Dahra Morocco (ADMO).

Al Dahra is an agribusiness firm specializing in the cultivation, production and trading of animal feed and human food commodities such as rice, flour, fruits and vegetables.

The group owns and operates a land bank of 350,000 acres globally, 8 forage pressing and production plants, 4 rice milling plants and 2 flour milling plants with total annual production exceeding 4.5 million metric tonnes.

The company has more than 20 distribution sites in UAE and owns factories and farms in the United States.

The EBRD funds will finance the construction and commissioning of a new olive oil factory in the Fez-Meknes region in Morocco.

Through this investment, Al Dahra will leverage its existing olive farms in the Fez-Meknes region and aggregate other olive farmers in the region to start producing olive oil, targeting local and export markets under the brand name “Oliva”.

Morocco is one of the largest producers of olive oil globally with an average annual production of 140,000 tons and among the top three countries with the lowest cost of production.

Over the past five years, the EBRD, in partnership with FAO and other stakeholders have been working through a number of actions to increase the competitiveness of the olive oil sector.

These initiatives include workshops and training programmes to improve efficiency, product quality and raising skills and standards along the Moroccan olive oil value chain.

This is the Bank’s first investment in the olive oil sector in Morocco and the sixth in the northern African region.

Morocco is a founding member of the EBRD and became a country of operations in 2012. To date, the Bank has invested over US$2.2 billion in the country through 60 projects.