The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and ABIS Exports India Private Limited (ABIS) entered into an agreement to subscribe to non-convertible debentures for $16 million (in equivalent Indian rupee), to enhance food security in India by supporting the construction of a micro fish feed plant and by training up to 6,000 farmers in climate-resilient fish farming practices as well as financial literacy.
Specialized micro fish feed is a new product in the Indian market and is smaller in size than standard feed, making it suitable for more species of fish. It also floats on the water surface for longer, enabling the feed to be completely consumed by the fish rather than sink and be wasted while also increasing feed efficiency and reducing water pollution.
“Fisheries are crucial to India’s nutrition and food security and provide income and jobs for more than 28 million fish farmers across the country’s aquaculture value chain,” said ADB’s Private Sector Operations Department Senior Investment Specialist Tushna Dora. “Our assistance to ABIS delivers much-needed innovation and efficiencies in feed inputs, which will support increased production while improving rural livelihoods through training of farmers and targeted investments in local manufacturing.”
As a sustainability-linked and blue-debt facility, this financing signifies ADB’s and ABIS’s commitment to climate change mitigation and adaptation, water conservation, ocean health, and the promotion of farmers’ capacity building. This is ADB’s first private sector sustainability-linked financing, with adjustments in pricing when pre-defined sustainability targets are met. Targets include emissions reductions, water conservation, and farmer training. The sustainability-linked financing received an independent second-party opinion, consistent with industry principles.
Training in climate-smart fish farming practices and financial literacy through a $500,000 technical assistance (TA) grant will enhance the climate resilience of fish farmers. The TA will also address gaps in access faced by women farmers to aquacultural information and training.
“We are delighted to start this partnership with ADB. ADB’s support is a vote of confidence for ABIS and validates our commitment to reduce carbon emissions, improve water conservation, and provide increased farmer extension services,” said ABIS Export Managing Director Bahadur Ali. “At the core of our mission are the farmers and their livelihoods coupled with achieving our highly ambitious environmental, social, and governance targets.”
Food security is a priority for ADB, which recently announced plans to provide at least $14 billion over 2022–2025 to ease a worsening food crisis in Asia and the Pacific, while improving long-term food security by strengthening food systems against the impacts of climate change and biodiversity loss. Direct support to farmers and agribusinesses in the region is key to this initiative, with an expected $3.5 billion from ADB and $5 billion in cofinancing to be provided to the private sector. The debt facility to ABIS is part of this direct support to the private sector.
ABIS is the flagship operating company of the Indian Broiler group, which also has operations in poultry, poultry-feed, dairy, edible oil, and hospitality. All the group’s products are sold under the ABIS brand name, with the company active in 26 states in India. Together with its affiliates, it has over 8,000 employees. ABIS is committed to reducing carbon emissions, improving water conservation, and providing increased farmer extension services.