The European Investment Bank’s (EIB) supported the Eastern Partnership with almost 8 billion euros in a loan deal that was signed earlier this week, with a special focus on Ukraine’s crucial agriculture sector. In a run-up to the fifth Eastern Partnership Summit that took place in Brussels last week (23 November), the EIB signed financing worth 37 million euros to Astarta-Kyiv holding which will support the modernization and innovation of Ukraine’s agricultural sector, the main source of the country’s exports.
EIB Vice President Vazil Hudak confirmed that the support for Eastern Partnership remains a key priority for the bank. “We are working towards strengthening their economic competitiveness, increasing the quality of life of their citizens and targeting policy reforms, in line with EU priorities.” The new financing will contribute to the upgrading of Ukraine’s agricultural infrastructure, in support of a strategic economic sector of the country which generates about a fifth of the country’s gross domestic product and is a key source of employment for 14 million Ukrainians living in rural areas.
The EIB loan will specifically finance new storage capacities for grain and sugar for Ukraine’s leading sugar exporter, Astarta. In this context, the new financial loan also marks the first time in Ukraine that the EIB will make financing available from its “InnovFin – EU Finance for Innovator” instrument under the European Union’s Horizon 2020. The EIB will use InnovFin to help Astarta develop agribusiness management software, which will cover the entire agricultural value chain. Modern storage facilities will help reduce post-harvest losses and mitigate adverse weather. In this way, the bank’s loan will also contribute to its Climate Action objective.