IFC to save Egyptian farmers US$875m annually by fostering transition to solar irrigation systems

EGYPT – IFC, a member of the World Bank Group has partnered with ALEXBANK, an Egyptian private bank to provide financing to farmers to enable them transition to use of sustainable irrigation systems.

Under the partnership, the financial institutions will design new funding packages to enable farmers to purchase and install solar powered irrigation pumps.

This targets farmers who may lack direct access to electricity grid and aims to reduce their reliance on diesel-powered generators by switching to clean energy options which have reduced impact on the environment.

“This new partnership with ALEXBANK, our long-term partner, will help the bank build its portfolio in climate financing and will also help boost the adoption of clean technologies in Egypt.”

IFC Country Manager for Egypt, Libya, and Yemen – Walid Labadi

Through the partnership, IFC and ALEXBANK estimates that using solar powered pumps could save farmers up to 14 billion Egyptian pounds (US$875 million) annually in diesel fuel costs, helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

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An estimated one million diesel-powered pumps across Egypt could potentially be replaced by solar.

“This new partnership with ALEXBANK, our long-term partner, will help the bank build its portfolio in climate financing and will also help boost the adoption of clean technologies in Egypt.

“Expanding access to finance and supporting the green economy are key focuses of our work in the country,” said Walid Labadi, IFC Country Manager for Egypt, Libya, and Yemen.

Also, the initiative targets to boost productivity and farmers’ incomes as the agriculture sector is one of the main contributors to the Egyptian economy, constituting over 11 percent of GDP and creating opportunities for more than 20 percent of the country’s labour force.

“We are proud to partner with IFC to provide Egyptian farmers and entrepreneurs in the agricultural sector tailored financial products, helping them to develop and expand their businesses.

“This stems from ALEXBANK’s strategy to support rural communities, while complimenting the Egyptian authorities’ efforts in promoting the concepts of ‘green economy,” said Dante Campioni, Managing Director and CEO of ALEXBANK.

The partnership is part of IFC’s broader advisory work to strengthen Egypt’s clean technology sector and support entrepreneurship in the country.

Under the Cleantech Entrepreneurship and Market Development Project, IFC is helping select financial institutions build their capacity to offer financing facilities for off-grid photovoltaic (PV) systems in the agribusiness sector.

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The project is being implemented in partnership with the governments of Denmark, South Korea, and the Netherlands.

Meanwhile, the Egyptian government has inaugurated the Regional Center for Technology for Storage and Deliberation of Grains in Bargash.

The center is one of the most important projects implemented by the Egyptian Holding Company for Silos & Storage (EHCSS), through the Emirati grant with a well dedicated US$300 million for the development of 25 silos, to promote development of the food supply processes in Egypt.

It is aimed to become a regional hub for training and preparing cadres in the field of grain storage technology, and the management and operation of silos.

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