Customers across Tajikistan will benefit from a greater variety and availability of fresh vegetables thanks to cooperation between the country’s largest private lender Bank Eskhata and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), according to the EBRD Dushanbe Resident Office.

The two financial institutions are providing new funds to support operations of the country’s leading vegetable grower MMK AGRO.

Bank Eskhata is reportedly extending a senior loan of up to US$ 2.2 million split into three tranches to finance MMK AGRO’s expansion, while half of the risk on the loan will be shared by the EBRD under the risk sharing agreement between the two banks.

Based in the northern province of Sughd, MMK AGRO is operating state-of-the-art greenhouses, which provide vegetables for food retailers and private shoppers in Tajikistan and abroad.

The project is supported by the EU’s Enhanced Competitiveness of Tajik Agribusiness Program (ECTAP).  ECTAP was designed to enhance the development of Tajikistan’s agribusiness sector, promote the competitiveness of local agricultural firms and improve the marketing of domestic food produce.  So far, ECTAP has provided €3.3 million to support agribusiness projects in Tajikistan.

To date, the EBRD has invested €819 million through 147 projects in Tajikistan’s economy.