Shrimp farms in Ecuador will have better productivity with a new investment by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), part of the World Bank Group, to help replace diesel with electricity for farm operations while addressing the environmental risks in shrimp production. The goal is to help improve the sector’s sustainability and support the nation’s climate targets.
IFC’s loan of up to $45 million to Industrial Pesquera Santa Priscila S.A., the leading shrimp exporter in Ecuador, will help the company expand its number of farms and improve its automation and productivity.
The Ecuadorian shrimp sector faces a range of challenges related to low productivity and reliance on fossil fuels that deter the industry’s overall sustainability. “IFC’s long-term financing, not readily available for agribusinesses—especially for investments in the electrification of farms—will help grow our operations. With IFC’s support, we expect to increase productivity levels by more than 20% in terms of pounds of shrimp per hectare. IFC’s expertise will also help raise our operating standards in terms of environmental and social practices (E&S), corporate governance, and insurance, boosting our sustainability to meet the dynamic market demand,” said Raúl Estrada, corporate advisor of Santa Priscila.
IFC’s funds will only be invested in farms that are adapted to replicate Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) or Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) certification standards, promoting good practices with sustainability benefits. Around 42% of the financing will contribute to climate mitigation, avoiding emissions of approximately 2,000 tons of CO2 equivalent annually.
Alfonso García Mora, VP of Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean for IFC, said that “addressing climate change and supporting long-term growth is a key priority for IFC in Latin America and the Caribbean. IFC’s investment will support one of the leading shrimp producers in Ecuador to expand, adopt more sustainable farming practices, and upgrade its farm infrastructure. This will promote competition and productivity growth in this important export-oriented sector, catalyzing the greening of the shrimp sector to tackle future shocks.”
Supporting investments that contribute to job preservation and exports is critical for the country’s post-COVID-19 recovery efforts.