US development bank makes massive investment in Indian firms

New Delhi, June 5 (IANS): America's development bank DFC has approved millions of dollars of investment that will strengthen food security and energy sector in India to fight the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.

A statement issued by the US embassy in New Delhi said that the US International Development Finance Corporation (USIDFC) has approved $1 billion of investments that will advance development in many other countries across the globe.

In India, the USIDFC is investing to strengthen food and energy security, empower smallholder dairy farmers and innovate the dairy industry, generate solar power, scale up high-impact businesses and increase access to education.

"These projects will uplift some of the most underserved communities around the world," USIDFC chief executive officer Adam Boehler said. "The impact of these projects will be particularly meaningful as the world continues to fight the health and economic fallout of the pandemic," he added.

The board approved up to $20 million in equity will help 'FreshToHome' deliver high-quality, affordable fish, meat, and produce to homes across India.

In addition to strengthening food security, the project will support more than 1,500 farmers and fishermen throughout the country, where 70 per cent of rural households depend primarily on agriculture for their livelihood.

USIDFC also approved up to $371,000 in technical assistance to support Milk Mantra, which sources milk from more than 60,000 smallholder farmers -- many of whom are women -- to produce and sell dairy products in eastern India. A $10 million loan already approved by USIDFC to Milk Mantra, a dairy company committed to ethical sourcing from smallholder farmers, will help it expand its operations in eastern India.

The technical assistance is intended to enhance the impact of an approved DFC loan to the project by sharing the costs of services, including farmer training, cattle health services, and a digital financial services program designed to empower women farmers.

A $2.7 million loan guaranty to Stellapps Technologies will advance innovative solutions that streamline the dairy value chain in India.

The statement said an up to $30 million investment in South Asia Growth Fund II will support businesses in the energy, water, and food sectors across India. The fund aims to promote sustainable access to and the efficient use of these resources, which remain scarce in many regions of India.

A $142 million loan has been approved for ReNew Power to develop, construct, and operate a 300-megawatt solar power plant in Rajasthan. Another $50 million loan to Sitara Solar Energy Private Ltd. has been approved to build and operate a 100-megawatt solar power plant in Rajasthan.

A $27.3 million loan has been given to Paryapt Solar Energy Private Ltd. to build and operate a 50-megawatt solar power plant in Gujarat.

The statement said a $50 million loan has been granted to Northern Arc Capital which will help it extend loans to businesses that expand access to water, sanitation, and food or advance women's economic empowerment in India.

A $14.6 million loan guaranty to World Business Capital has been given to support the expansion of Avanse Financial Services' student loan program in India.

USIDFC, America's development bank, partners with the private sector to finance solutions to the most critical challenges facing the developing world. The investments mark one of the largest tranches approved by the board of directors during a meeting.


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