MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Maha Agriculture Borrows $6m from FMO for Digital Microfinance in Myanmar

The Netherlands Development Finance Company, which also is known by its Dutch acronym FMO, recently disbursed a loan of USD 6 million to Myanmar-based microfinance institution (MFI) Maha Agriculture Public Company Limited to be on-lent as microloans in rural Myanmar. The goal of the loan is to support small-scale farmers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly to alleviate market illiquidity and food insecurity.

Maha, which is a subsidiary of Yangon-based agricultural input manufacturer Myanma Awba Group (Awba), focuses on digital agri-lending products. Awba created Maha in 2013 to focus on Myanmar’s agriculture sector, providing loans to farmers as well as retailers of goods such as fertilizer and seeds. In addition to Awba, its majority shareholder, Maha has seven minority shareholders. The MFI operates 32 branches across eight regions of Myanmar, serving approximately 40,000 clients, 93 percent of whom are farmers. Awba, which was established in 1995, provides products and services such as seeds, crop insurance and nutrition education to 3.5 million farmers.

Established in 1970, FMO is 51-percent held by the Dutch government and 49-percent by private sector institutions. The institution works toward the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals by funding capacity development as well as placing debt and equity investments in sectors such as agribusiness, financial institutions and energy. During the six months ending June 2020, FMO lost EUR 280 million (USD 330 million) on a total portfolio of EUR 12.7 billion (USD 14.9 billion).

Courtesy By : https://www.microcapital.org/