The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and New Hope Singapore Private Limited (NHS) have signed a $20 million loan agreement to help poultry, aquaculture, and other livestock farmers in eight countries across South and Southeast Asia continue their operations during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
“Shortages of agricultural inputs such as animal feed will have a severe impact on food availability, prices, and poverty if pandemic-related restrictions persist especially in countries vulnerable to the economic impacts of COVID-19,” said Head of the Agribusiness Investment Unit at ADB’s Private Sector Operations Department Martin Lemoine. “Livestock plays a major role in food security as smallholder farmers rely on it for food and income. ADB’s loan will help preserve supplies of affordable protein, as well as the livelihoods of smallholder farmers.”
The financing will support NHS’s increased working capital needs and operating expenses in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Indonesia, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Nepal, Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Viet Nam. The funds will be used to purchase raw materials for animal feed production, to extend larger advances and longer payment terms to feed distributors and livestock farmers, and to provide personal protective equipment for workers. NHS provides animal feed and technical services to about 200,000 poultry, aquaculture, and other livestock farmers in South and Southeast Asia.
To complement the loan, ADB will provide technical assistance to NHS to support the training of 7,200 female poultry and fish farmers in Bangladesh and the Philippines on climate-resilient farming best practices and financial literacy, including a focus on access to credit.