Buoyed with International Finance Corporation’s (IFC) support, Carrières et Chaux du Mali (CCM) is currently strengthening its regional influence by exporting agricultural lime to neighboring farmers in Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, and Senegal.
CEO of CCM, Madani Diallo, says, “IFC’s support will help us reduce our production costs by up to 20 percent and give us the opportunity to better meet the growing local demand for quicklime and agricultural lime.’’
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, on Tuesday announced an investment in CCM to help the company increase production of agricultural lime and quicklime, essential inputs that will strengthen Mali’s important agriculture and mining industries, creating jobs, and spurring economic growth.
With IFC’s support, CCM will increase its annual production capacity of quicklime from 16,500 tons per year presently to 30,000 tons by 2023, while developing the capacity to produce 50,000 tons of agricultural lime per year.
This will help position the company as a primary supplier to local and regional export markets.
Mining companies in Mali have traditionally relied on European imports of quicklime, which is used extensively during the recovery of gold.
Agricultural lime is a by-product of quicklime. It helps increase the pH of acidic soils, facilitates the absorption of nutrients (such as fertilizers) and increases agriculture productivity.
The investment consists of a loan from IFC and the International Development Association’s Private Sector Window (IDA-PSW) of up to €8.92 million equivalent in XOF.
It is IFC’s first local currency financing in Mali in support of the manufacturing, agribusiness, and services sectors.
As part of the record $75 billion IDA18 replenishment, the World Bank Group created the $2.5 billion IDA Private Sector Window to catalyse private sector investment in the poorest and most fragile countries.
Recognising the key role of the private sector in achieving IDA18 objectives and the Sustainable Development Goals, the window provides concessional funds for co-investment alongside IFC and Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) private investments.
Concessional funds help to mitigate risk and reduce barriers, which unlocks and crowds in private investment in emerging markets.
IFC’s Director for West and Central Africa, Aliou Maiga, says, “our investment in CCM will help create opportunities in two important economic sectors, mining and agriculture, which together contribute about 40 percent of Mali’s GDP and provide 65 percent of the country’s jobs.
‘’This project, which will also boost Malian exports to the regional market, is timely as Mali strives to accelerate economic recovery in the face of COVID-19.”
In addition to the investment, IFC is developing an advisory project that will help Malian farmers increase their yields for targeted crops by properly and efficiently using agricultural lime.
Mali’s agricultural land is estimated at 2.4 million hectares, but about two-thirds has only limited productivity. Applying agricultural lime—especially to areas of lower productivity—has the potential to improve soil quality and boost yields.
IFC is however, the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. It is working in more than 100 countries, using its capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in developing countries.
In fiscal year 2020, IFC invested $22 billion in private companies and financial institutions in developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity.