International Finance Corporation, the private-sector investment arm of the World Bank, is looking to invest in the proposed food grain milling plants of Agrocorp International Pte Ltd.
Agrocorp is planning to set up two pulse milling plants in India and is scouting for a local partner for building a rice mill in Bangladesh. The two projects will cost the commodities trading powerhouse $47 million.
IFC proposes to give debt finance of up to $12.5 million from its own account, while another investor, Global Agriculture and Food Security Program, will dish out $2.5 million for the project.
The feasibility study for the first pulses plant, which will serve the southern part of the country, has already been done, and the company is in the process of identifying a location in the north that would cater to the eastern and central markets.
Agrocorp, a Singapore-based agri-commodity trading company, was founded in 1990 by IIT Mumbai alumni Vijay Iyengar, the chairman and CEO, and his wife, who holds 75% stake in the company.
According to its website, the company has offices across 13 countries with an annual trade volume of over six million tonnes across commodities such as grains, pulses, sugar, oil seeds, cashew and cotton.
IFC has a direct private equity-style investment practice in India. It lends to firms and backs private equity and venture capital funds along with a limited partner.
Established in 2010, Global Agriculture and Food Security Program invests both in the private and public agriculture sector to reduce poverty and improve food and nutrition security in low-income countries. Its private sector investments are done with IFC’s backing.
In February, for instance, IFC had proposed to make a debt investment of $30 million in ETC Agro Processing (India) Pvt Ltd.
In 2016, it had planned to invest $175 million in Singapore-based commodities merchant Olam International Ltd to finance its projects in India and Nigeria.