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IFC Invests in Crystal Crop to Fund Growth in Affordable, Green Crop Solutions

Millions of Indian farmers stand to gain from the increased investment by a robust production framework for green crop solutions being established.

Shruti Kandwal
The financial package will help Crystal in achieving its growth goals by allowing it to focus on innovation and enhance its capacity for research and development (R&D).
The financial package will help Crystal in achieving its growth goals by allowing it to focus on innovation and enhance its capacity for research and development (R&D).

The project will improve farmers' productivity by increasing their access to specialized, reasonably priced, and environmentally friendly crop protection solutions. The project will boost market competitiveness while helping farmers, serving as a catalyst for the development of the agriculture sector in India.

The leading agrochemical company in India, Crystal Crop Protection Ltd., will be able to increase farm productivity, reduce supply chain disruptions brought on by COVID-19, and establish a robust infrastructure for the sustainable production of crop protection products thanks to an investment of Rs. 300 Cr. from IFC and IFC Emerging Asia Fund (EAF). The IFC Emerging Asia Fund, launched in 2016, makes equity and equity-like investments across all sectors in emerging markets in Asia alongside IFC.

While agriculture provides employment for nearly half of India’s labor force, it only made up roughly 17% of the country's GDP in the first quarter of FY23. Due to limited access to capital, markets, technical knowledge, and quality inputs, farmer incomes are low and volatile. By addressing these issues, the industry will be able to generate more revenue and raise farmer income.

The financial package will help Crystal in achieving its growth goals by allowing it to focus on innovation and enhance its capacity for research and development (R&D). Improved R&D capabilities will help the Indian agrochemical business in adjusting to emerging environmental market trends.

Commenting on the transaction, Ankur Aggarwal, Managing Director, Crystal Crop Protection Limited, said, “This investment will further consolidate the company’s position in the Indian market and strengthen its commitment toward sustainable crop solutions to increase farm profitability of Indian farmers by leveraging R&D and technology. We remain committed to the highest standards of environmental, health, and safety guidelines, and governance in all our operations.”  

Commenting on IFC’s investment, 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. 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 business in improving factory automation and IT infrastructure. By meeting its working capital needs, Crystal intends to achieve double-digit growth in the future for both seeds and crop protection chemicals. Saffire Crop Science, the company's new business in the retail of agrochemicals, will use technology to promote crop solutions and services and make them easier for farmers to access.

With nine domestic acquisitions to date, including six in the previous five years, partnerships and acquisition opportunities have been strategic steps for Crystal.

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