ADB funding micro-aquafeed plant in India

Published on
December 8, 2022
A worker in India tosses fish feed into an aquaculture pond.

The Asian Development Bank and ABIS Exports India Private Limited (ABIS) have signed a sustainability-linked debt facility worth USD 16 million (EUR 15.3 million) to build a micro-aquafeed plant in India.

The fund will also help train up to 6,000 farmers on climate-resilient fish farming practices and financial knowledge, as part of ADB's effort to help improve food security in India.

The specialized aquafeed to be produced by the plant will be smaller than standard feed in size so it can be eaten by more species of fish. The use of the micro-fishfeed can help boost feed efficiency and reduce water pollution because it can float on the water surface longer than the standard feed, ADB said.

“Fisheries are crucial to India’s nutrition and food security and provide income and jobs for more than 28 million fish farmers across the country’s aquaculture value chain,“ ADB Private Sector Operations Department Senior Investment Specialist Tushna Dora said. “Our assistance to ABIS delivers much-needed innovation and efficiencies in feed inputs, which will support increased production while improving rural livelihoods through training of farmers and targeted investments in local manufacturing.”

The deal with ABIS is ADB’s first private-sector sustainability-linked financing, the pricing of which will be adjusted when pre-defined sustainability targets, including emissions reduction, water conservation, and farmer training, are met, according to the company.

Farmers participating in the project will be trained through a USD 500,000 (EUR 478,000) technical assistance grant to apply climate-smart fish farming practices and financial knowledge in their operations. The support will help build climate resilience of small-scale fish farmers and enable female farmers to access to aquacultural information and training.

"ADB’s support is a vote of confidence for ABIS and validates our commitment to reduce carbon emissions, improve water conservation, and provide increased farmer extension services,” ABIS Export Managing Director Bahadur Ali said. “At the core of our mission are the farmers and their livelihoods coupled with achieving our highly ambitious environmental, social, and governance targets.”

ABIS is a subsidiary of the Indian Broiler group, which operates in the poultry, poultry feed, dairy, edible oil, and hospitality sectors.

ADB recently announced a plan to allocate at least USD 14 billion (EUR 13.4 billion) through 2025 to combat a food crisis in Asia and the Pacific and enhance long-term food security amid worsening impacts of climate change and biodiversity loss in the regions. Of that total, the private sectorwill receive about USD 3.5 billion (EUR 3.3 billion) from ADB and another USD 5 billion (EUR 4.8 billion) in co-financing under the forms of direct support to farmers and agribusinesses, ADB said.

Photo courtesy of ABIS Exports

Contributing Editor reporting from Hanoi, Vietnam

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