IFC invests Rs 300 crore in agro-chemical firm Crystal Crop Protection

Representational image: Shutterstock

Representational image: Shutterstock

Agro-chemical firm Crystal Crop Protection Ltd on Wednesday said it has raised Rs 300 crore from IFC to fund its expansion and growth plans.

International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets.

According to a statement, the “investment of Rs 300 crore (approx USD 37 million) by IFC and IFC Emerging Asia Fund (EAF)” will help Crystal Crop to boost farm productivity, reduce supply chain disruptions, and set up a robust infrastructure for sustainable production of crop protection products.

The statement did not mention the dilution of stake by Crystal Crop for raising this equity fund from IFC.

The project will increase farmers’ access to customised, affordable, and environment-friendly crop protection products.

The IFC Emerging Asia Fund, launched in 2016, makes equity and equity-like investments across all sectors in emerging markets in Asia alongside IFC.

The financing package will support Crystal’s growth plans, enabling it to focus on innovation and strengthening its research and development (R&D) capacity.

“This investment will further consolidate the company’s position in the Indian market and strengthen its commitment towards sustainable crop solutions to increase farm profitability of Indian farmers by leveraging R&D and technology,” Ankur Aggarwal, Managing Director, Crystal Crop Protection Ltd, said.

He said the company remains committed to the highest standards of environmental, health and safety guidelines, and governance in all its operations.

Wendy Werner, India Country Head at IFC, said: “As India emerges from the COVID-19 crisis, the agriculture sector remains critical to green recovery. IFC’s investment will help improve access to sustainable, tailor-made agri-solutions benefiting millions of farmers.” Strengthening climate smart agribusiness is at the heart of our development mission in the country, Werner said.

“We are confident this investment will bolster supply chains, encourage future investors and promote resilience in the sector,” she added.

The investment will also help the company improve its IT infrastructure and automation in its plants.

Going forward, Crystal Crop aims for double-digit growth in crop protection chemicals and seeds by funding working capital requirements.

The company recently launched a new business in agrochemical retail, Saffire Crop Science, which will leverage technology to promote crops solutions and services. To expand its business, Crystal Crop has made nine acquisitions to date, with six in the last five years.

Crystal Crop Protection Ltd is one of the leading agro chemical players in the country. It has seven manufacturing plants.