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The European Investment Bank (EIB), the EU bank, announced the launch of a new financing initiative that aims to unlock close to €1.6 billion of investment in the agriculture and bioeconomy sector. The financing aims to

support private companies operating throughout the value chains of production and processing of food, bio-based materials and bioenergy. It will be guaranteed by the EU budget under the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), which forms the financial pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe.

The lending programme will enable direct lending for private sector investments ranging from €15 million to €200 million, with the EIB loan amount ranging from €7.5 million to €50 million. Targeted investments will support environmental protection and natural resource efficiency, renewable energy, innovation, competitiveness, and energy efficiency. The programme will contribute to safeguard and create employment in rural areas and therefore promote rural development and territorial integration across the EU.

The programme is a continuation of the first €400 million agriculture and bioeconomy programme loan that was launched in 2018 and is nearly fully committed. The first programme loan generated significant interest in the market with a number of projects originated with corporate and cooperative counterparties in several EU countries (e.g. France, Poland, Ireland, Italy and Latvia).