“We received from the African Development Bank a loan of €100 million renewable in two years to develop our export activities in Ivory Coast,” said Bertrand Fay De Lestrac, director of the cocoa department of Sucden in Paris.
The local branch of Sucden in Côte d’Ivoire, the world’s top cocoa producer, is one of the top five buyers in the country.
The French based commodity firm purchases around 100,000 tons annually in the country and aims to increase this to 150,000 tons.
An AfDB statement said the facility will provide a stable source of funding and the necessary liquidity to Sucden CI, and over time help to increase the export of cocoa from Côte d’Ivoire and in the process expand output of the cocoa sector.
“This financing will permit higher exports from Côte d’Ivoire and help reinforce the capacities of suppliers and local cooperatives,” it said.
The facility will also be used to provide financing to scores of cooperatives and local suppliers to help strengthen the cocoa supply chain and promote private sector development in Côte d’Ivoire.
The government of President Alassane Ouattara has pushed for heavy investment to renew the cocoa sector and boost economic growth in the wake of a decade-long political crisis that ended in the 2011 civil war.