IFC, the investment arm of World Bank, will invest USD 20 million in Sri Lanka's Cargills Foods Company to help the company expand operations and create more jobs for farmers. It is the retail subsidiary of Cargills (Ceylon) PLC. "The investment will help the company expand operations, reach more farmers, and improve efficiency of its supply chains," IFC said in a release. IFC's investment for an 8 per cent equity stake in the company will also create jobs and opportunities for skills development for rural youth. It will boost inclusive growth by expanding access to markets for farmers as the company grows its retail network across Sri Lanka, it added. "IFC's investment, at a time when our retail segment is facing challenges from macro and fiscal environments, is a strong endorsement of Cargills Food City's business model and business ethos of the Group," said Ranjit Page, Deputy Chairman of Cargills (Ceylon) PLC. Sri Lanka's modern trade sector currently constitutes less than 20 per cent of total trade in the country, significantly lower than in other emerging markets. Cargills Foods owns and operates Food City, Sri Lanka's largest private retail chain.
It sources produce from over 10,000 Sri Lankan farmers, and employs 5,800 people across its network. "Cargills Foods has a unique opportunity to improve the lives of a large number of people employed across its supply network. "In addition to its investment, IFC will also bring global expertise and industry knowledge to help the company improve efficiency and standards throughout its supply chain," said Adam Sack, IFC Country Manager for Sri Lanka & Maldives.