ADB funds $30 Mn to farm efficiency initiative of Smartchem Technologies

ADB funds $30 Mn to farm efficiency initiative of Smartchem Technologies

Asian Development Bank (ADB) has announced that it would fund the farm efficiency initiative of Smartchem Technologies (STL), a wholly owned subsidiary of Deepak Fertilisers and Petrochemicals Corporation (DFPCL), through a US$30 million loan facility with 5-year tenure. This is ADB’s first agribusiness “Blue Loan” and the first such blue loan in India in the agribusiness sector across institutions. The loan will be used to finance capital expenditure as well as research and development of enhanced-efficiency speciality fertilisers.

Smartchem Technologies was chosen as a suitable candidate for Asian Development Bank (ADB) support owing to its (i) leading market position in the enhanced efficiency specialised fertilisers (EESF) segment, with advanced technical capability and satisfactory financial performance; (ii) growth potential from the enhancement of fertiliser production capacity to provide quality inputs; and (iii) actions to encourage the application of EESFs, which will support the sustainable transformation of agriculture in India while improving its resilience to climate change.

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Highlighting the development, Sailesh C Mehta, Chairman & Managing Director, Deepak Fertilisers and Petrochemicals Corporation said, “This financial association with ADB will help enhance our ongoing speciality fertiliser business including the applied R&D and grassroot farmer training initiatives. It is heartening to have a validation of our efforts towards crop/soil specific fertiliser systems and improvements of nutrient use efficiency that promises to bring balanced soil nutrition while lowering leeching effluents. We will continue to strive to deliver on our vision of playing an active role in building an Atmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant) in foodgrain production and play a decisive role in ensuring food security by raising the yield and quality parameters of Indian farms to global standards.”

Speaking on the collaboration, Suzanne Gaboury, Director General for Private Sector Operations, Asian Development Bank said, “Private sector investment in agriculture is critical to help farmers adapt to climate change. Fertiliser companies need to be at the forefront of climate adaptation as their products can increase productivity and improve resilience to the impacts of climate change. The private sector can play an important role in bringing more advanced fertiliser products to the market, investing in local manufacturing to reduce reliance on imports, and training farmers in proper usage and soil management.”

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ADB has also given approval for a technical assistance grant of US$ 500,000 for building capacity for Soil Nutrition Management among smallholder farmers and climate resilience in India. The grant is in addition to the financing of US$30 million (“Blue loan”).

Enhanced-efficiency speciality fertilisers have shown increased output while reducing the need for fertiliser application rate. It also reduces environmental impact and supports nutrient uptake efficiencies and thus delivers better productivity leading to improved food security.

Smartchem Technologies has, over the years, successfully built on its credentials as an innovator in the Water Soluble and Specialty Fertiliser category, to emerge as a market leader through its Mahadhan brand. Its crop-specific products provide enhanced nutrient uptake by the soil/crop in comparison to the commodity NPK fertilisers and will help enhance farmers’ incomes by way of better yields and quality. STL today offers a basket of 48 products which include bulk fertilisers, crop nutrient solutions, speciality fertilisers, water-soluble fertilisers, bio-stimulants, micro-nutrients and secondary nutrients, catering to every crop’s nutrient requirement.

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