The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, and ALEXBANK, an Egyptian private bank, announced on Tuesday a partnership to help Egyptian farmers access financing to purchase solar irrigation systems, reducing their reliance on diesel-powered generators and boosting their productivity and incomes.
Through the partnership, IFC and ALEXBANK will design new financial products to enable farmers, most of whom may lack direct access to an electricity grid, to purchase and install solar powered irrigation pumps.
IFC estimates that using solar powered pumps could save farmers up to EGP 14 billion ($875 million) per year in diesel fuel costs, helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
An estimated one million diesel-powered pumps across Egypt could potentially be replaced by solar power, according to the IFC.
“Representing over 11 percent of GDP and creating opportunities for more than 20 percent of the Egyptian labour force, the agricultural sector is one of the key contributors to the economy. As one of the key players in the Egyptian banking sector, ALEXBANK realises the importance of supporting the development of this vital sector,” said Dante Campioni, Managing Director and CEO of ALEXBANK.
Through partnership with the IFC, Egyptian farmers and entrepreneurs in the agriculture sector will be provided with tailored financial products, helping them to develop and expand their businesses, which goes in line with ALEXBANK’s strategy to support rural communities, while complimenting the Egyptian authorities’ efforts in promoting the concepts of ‘green economy’, according to Campioni.
“This new partnership with ALEXBANK will help the bank build its portfolio in climate financing and will also help boost the adoption of clean technologies in Egypt. Expanding access to finance and supporting the green economy are key focuses of our work in the country,” said Walid Labadi, IFC country manager for Egypt, Libya, and Yemen.
The partnership is part of 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, IFC is helping select financial institutions build their capacity to offer financing facilities for off-grid photovoltaic systems in the agribusiness sector.
The project is being implemented in partnership with the governments of Denmark, South Korea, and the Netherlands.