Senegalese SCL expands thanks to BIO’s € 4 million loan

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Last 29th November, BIO disbursed € 3 million of a € 4 million senior loan to Société des Cultures Legumières in Senegal to finance their expansion project.

SCL produces, packages, and exports fresh vegetables to the UK during the winter season in Europe, when traditional producing countries such as Morocco, Spain, Israel and Egypt cannot fill the supply needs. SCL is now developing into a 12 month business, targeting the local market as well, and increasing its value chain with the final packaging of certain vegetables.

The expansion project concerns the development of 690 ha, located 40 km from the current farm, for the production of sweet corn, sweet potatoes and butternut; a pumping station for irrigation purposes, extension of the packing house and infrastructure. BIO’s € 3 million loan finances a major part of the expansion and another € 1 million is secured in case the project itself generates insufficient cash flow to implement the investment project.

The further development of the SCL projects generates local year-round employment, improves community infrastructure and the communities’ standards of living. SCL has shown a strong commitment to local development, financing the construction of roads to open up isolated communities near the project and the installation of water reservoirs and vaccination posts in favour of cattle care.

BIO has been investing in SCL since 2007 to finance the acquisition of new material during the first years of the company. Furthermore, BIO conceded € 36,000 in subsidies for two advisory service projects: in 2010-2011 to improve the asparagus and other vegetable production and in 2011 to improve the irrigation and water management techniques.

Read more on BIO's investment and technical assistance.