Chennai, Oct 10 (IANS) World Bank arm International Finance Corporation (IFC) Tuesday announced a $11 million investment in a Tamil Nadu poultry farm.
IFC will pick up five percent equity in Coimbatore-based Suguna Poultry Farms Ltd, a company spokesperson said.
In 2005-2006, IFC invested $400 million in Indian companies with rural interests and based in two-tier cities.
IFC has funded companies like Bharat Forge, Titan, Bajaj Scooters and Arvind Mills when they were at the start-up stage.
In 2006-2007, it plans to invest about $500 million in Indian agro industry and similar ventures, the spokesperson said.
Since 1956, IFC has provided over $4.3 billion in loans and equity to private sector companies in Asia, of which $1.4 billion has been in India. 'India is the fourth largest investment country,' Lars Thunell, IFC executive vice-president said Tuesday.
'IFC investment in Suguna will help the company become internationally competitive and will benefit around 10,500 contracted poultry farmers by creating opportunities for them,' he said, adding the IFC focus will remain on medium and small companies.
B. Soundarajan, Sugana managing director, said the company had 11,000 poultry farmers in Tamil Nadu linked to its supply chain system. By 2010, it has plans to bring another 12,000 poultry farmers under its corporate umbrella.
'In India, the market is dominated by live bird sale,' Soundarajan said.
'Our objective is to get at least 50 percent of the market into the processed food regime.'
Suguna is a Rs.11 billion company, pioneering an integrated business model.
'We see in IFC a long-term investor and a partner who will enable us to implement our growth strategy and benchmark us against poultry companies in other countries,' Soundararajan said.
Tamil Nadu exports poultry products to the Middle East and Suguna hopes to get funding for expertise from IFC.
'Our equities in India are doing well,' Thunell said, adding that it had recently also invested in LGB (a Coimbatore-based auto parts company) and Bangalore-based Drishti providing IT in rural India.