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IFC to invest in seed producer Mahyco India’s overseas unit
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International Finance Corporation (IFC) plans to make an equity investment of up to $20 million (Rs 141.82 crore at current exchange rates) in the overseas unit of agricultural producer Maharashtra Hybrid Seed Company Ltd (Mahyco India).

IFC said in a disclosure it will pump $10 million into Mahyco International Pte. Ltd from its own account and an equal amount in its capacity as the implementing authority of the private-sector window of the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program. 

The proposed investment is part of the $26 million that Mahyco has earmarked to expand its cotton business in Sub-Saharan Africa and its rice and eggplant business in Asia.

Mahyco will arrange the remaining capital from its internal accruals, the World Bank's private-sector investment arm said.

The capital will help Mahyco in funding the technology costs, working capital needs, pre-commercialisation costs and its capital expenditure in several countries in the two regions, including Nigeria, Malawi, Kenya, Bangladesh, Vietnam and Indonesia.

IFC said it expects Mahyco’s expansion project to positively impact farmer incomes, especially those of small farm owners. It will also help in providing agricultural workers with access to better quality equipment and reduce their dependence on pesticides.

Mahyco India was founded in 1964 by BR Barwale, a World Food Prize Laureate. The company is headquartered in Mumbai and also has a field research station in Maharashtra’s Jalna. The firm researches and develops innovations in the agricultural space, with an aim to meeting food security goals and ensuring farmer welfare, according to its website.

It has also made acquisitions to boost its product and technological portfolio. For instance, in November 2014, it acquired 60% of Quton Seed Company, a Zimbabwe-based seed firm. At the time, Mahyco said the acquisition would help it reach cotton farmers with small landholdings.

IFC

The Washington-headquartered IFC, which actively invests in India through both equity and debt instruments, has been on a dealmaking spree in the country of late.

In July, it took part in business-to-business marketplace Bizongo’s Series C funding round, which saw the startup valued at nearly $100 million.

In the same month, the firm said it would provide $150 million (around Rs 1,028 crore) in the form of a five-year senior loan to private sector lender RBL Bank.

In May, it anchored a $222 million debt funding round in Cholamandalam Investment and Finance Company Ltd. In April, IFC said it planned to provide $125 million to L&T Finance Ltd to help the non-bank lender expand its farm equipment financing portfolio.

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