The FINANCIAL — The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is boosting Turkish agribusiness with a €45 million loan to Reka Bitkisel Yaglar San. ve Tic. A.S., a fast-growing local oilseed processing company.
The EBRD loan, of which €20 million is syndicated to the Dutch development bank FMO N.V., will help Reka refinance existing loans and buy new equipment to increase production. The funds will also enable the company to work with larger numbers of farmers supplying oilseeds.
With its state-of-the-art plant located in the Tekirdağ province in north-eastern Turkey, where most of the country’s sunflower seed and rapeseed crops are cultivated, Reka sources most of its seeds locally and places great importance on close ties with their farmers, according to EBRD.
The company, established in 2010 by the Kucukbay and Reka families, has grown into one of the leading edible oil producers in Turkey and currently has the largest integrated oilseed processing capacity in the country.
EBRD Vice President Betsy Nelson, on a visit to Istanbul, said: “Our finance and know-how will help this young company grow and meet the highest European quality standards as well as expand farmers’ access to the market.”
Murat Reka, the company’s managing partner, added: “The EBRD is the right partner for us to achieve our future goals and this cooperation will bring us new opportunities.”
Supporting agribusiness companies such as Reka outside large metropolitan areas, where financing remains scarce, is a priority for the EBRD in Turkey. Agribusiness is one of the most important sectors of the Turkish economy, contributing 7.4 per cent to the country’s GDP and comprising well over 20 per cent of its active labour force.
The EBRD started investing in Turkey in 2009 and currently operates from offices in Istanbul, Ankara and Gaziantep. In 2014 Turkey became the leading recipient country of the EBRD, with new investments worth €1.4 billion.
To date the EBRD has invested over €6 billion in Turkey through close to 160 projects in infrastructure, energy, agribusiness, industry and finance. It has also mobilised over €12 billion for these ventures from other sources of financing.