AfDB Group Private Sector provides Euro 34 million to OLEA CAPITAL FUND

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Tunis, 27 November 2008 - The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB), through its private sector window approved today a Euro 34 million loan to OLEA CAPITAL FUND.

OLEA CAPITAL is an agro-industrial project aimed at producing olive oil in Morocco, combining super-intensive olive plantations over 10, 000 hectares and crushing factories.

Olive oil consumption has increased sharply and steadily over the last ten years and maintains strong growth prospects due to intensive promotion activities and the emergence of new consumers. OLEA CAPITAL will benefit from the potential of this market by introducing new production technologies that ensure increased productivity, reduced costs and greater competitiveness.

The project supports the implementation of the "Green Morocco" plan, a strategy for the development of agriculture which was launched by the Moroccan government in April 2008. It also showcases the AfDB’s increased attention to food security and support to the agricultural sector.

The project will create 560 direct permanent jobs and 4,000 direct seasonal jobs. OLEA CAPITAL will promote women's employment. Playing the role of an "aggregation agent", the project will promote the development of farms operated by small producers. The project will improve the competitiveness of Moroccan olive sub-sector by offering technical assistance to small producers. To maximize its environmental and social performance, OLEA CAPITAL’s procedures will comply with the most stringent requirements for both its plantations and factory activities.

The Bank has helped to maximize the environmental and social benefits of the project through its technical assistance to carry out an environmental and social management plan. The Bank has also financed a pre-feasibility study to assess the potential for carbon credit and OLEA CAPITAL’s eligibility to the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) under the Kyoto Protocol.


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