EBRD, Fondi BESA strengthen their cooperation.
London: The EBRD and Albania's largest microfinance institution Fondi BESA have strengthened their cooperation with the release of the second tranche of a EU5 million loan under the Albania Agribusiness Support Facility.
The funds will be used for on-lending to eligible Albanian farmers and agribusinesses. The loan is complemented by a first loss cover provided by the government of Albania and technical assistance for capacity building.
Agribusiness is a vital sector of Albania's economy. It provides employment for 50 per cent of the population and accounts for around 20 per cent of the country's GDP. However, the sector remains underserviced by financial institutions, with loans to agribusiness accounting for only 3 per cent of total lending to the economy.
The facility is supported by a first loss cover provided by the government of Albania. Launched in 2016, the framework to date has attracted five partner financial institutions. The Albania Agribusiness Support Facility is addressing this challenge by improving access to finance for local agribusinesses through dedicated credit lines or by sharing the risk of lending to the agribusiness sector.
Fondi BESA is a commercially oriented microfinance institution. With a network of 78 branches and offices it is the largest microfinance institution in Albania. It provides traditional micro lending to individuals and small businesses across the country and has been supported by the EBRD since 2010.