IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has provided $15 million loan to Maharashtra-based dairy company Parag Milk Foods. 

The company will use the loan amount to expand its supply chain linkages across over 50,000 farmers and food suppliers and improve food safety standards.

The loan will assist the company in expanding its portfolio to more value-added products like whey powder and ultra-high temperature milk.

“IFC’s global knowledge and expertise in the dairy sector will help the company develop best practices to increase milk yields, adopt environmental and food safety standards and upgrade technology and operational practices,” said Devendra Shah, Chairman and Managing Director, Parag Milk Foods. 

The financing will also improve Parag’s operational efficiency through plant automation, and expand its procurement and distribution networks. 

Parag distributes its products through 60 super-stockists, 1,000 distributors and over 120,000 retail outlets across India.

“Dairy is a major source of income for a large population of rural India. IFC works with supply chain integrators to provide small farmers and rural businesses access to finance, access to markets, advice and extension services,” said Serge Devieux, IFC Director for South Asia. This will also help create direct and indirect jobs and boost growth of small and medium enterprises.  

Globally, IFC has invested $4.5 billion across the agricultural value chain in 2013. IFC‘s agribusiness strategy aims to promote inclusive growth and environmental and social sustainability in agricultural supply chains.