The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, and Alexbank announced, on Tuesday, a partnership to help Egyptian farmers access financing to purchase solar irrigation systems.
The aim is to help farmers reduce their reliance on diesel-powered generators and boost their productivity and incomes.
Through the partnership, the IFC and Alexbank will design new financial products to enable farmers, most of whom may lack direct access to the electricity grid, to purchase and install solar powered irrigation pumps.
The IFC estimates that using solar powered pumps could save farmers up to EGP 14bn ($875m) annually in diesel fuel costs, helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
An estimated one million diesel-powered pumps across Egypt could potentially be replaced by solar devices.
“Constituting over 11% of GDP and creating opportunities for more than 20% of the Egyptian labour force, the agricultural sector is one of the main contributors to the economy,” said Dante Campioni, Managing Director and CEO of Alexbank, “As one of the key players in the Egyptian banking sector, Alexbank realises the importance of supporting the development of this vital sector.”
He added that the bank is proud to partner with the IFC to provide Egyptian farmers and entrepreneurs in the agricultural sector with tailored financial products, helping them to develop and expand their businesses.
This stems from Alexbank’s strategy to support rural communities, while complimenting the Egyptian authorities’ efforts in promoting the concepts of ‘green economy, Campioni said.
Walid Labadi, IFC Country Manager for Egypt, Libya, and Yemen, said, “This new partnership with Alexbank, our long-term partner, will help the bank build its portfolio in climate financing and will also help boost the adoption of clean technologies in Egypt.”
He also said, “Expanding access to finance and supporting the green economy are key focuses of our work in the country.”
The partnership is part of the IFC’s broader advisory work to strengthen Egypt’s clean technology sector and support entrepreneurship in the country.
Under the Cleantech Entrepreneurship and Market Development Project, the IFC is helping select financial institutions build their capacity to offer financing facilities for off-grid photovoltaic (PV) systems in the agribusiness sector. The project is being implemented in partnership with the governments of Denmark, South Korea, and the Netherlands.