The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, will invest nearly €9-million in Malian quicklime and agriculture lime producer Carrières et Chaux du Mali (CCM) to help the company increase its production of these products, which are essential inputs for the country's agriculture and mining industries.
With the IFC’s support, CCM plans to increase its production capacity of quicklime from 16 500 t/y to 30 000 t/y by 2023, while also developing the capacity to produce 50 000 t/y of agricultural lime.
Mining companies in Mali have traditionally relied on European imports of quicklime, which is used extensively in the recovery of gold.
Agricultural lime is a by-product of quicklime and helps increase the pH of acidic soils, facilitates the absorption of nutrients (such as fertilisers) and increases agricultural productivity.
The investment comprises a loan from the IFC and the International Development Association’s Private Sector Window of up to the equivalent of €8.92-million in West African CFA francs. It is the IFC’s first local currency financing in Mali in support of the manufacturing, agribusiness and services sectors.
“The IFC's support will help us reduce our production costs by up to 20% and give us the opportunity to better meet the growing local demand for quicklime and agricultural lime. We will also strengthen our regional influence by exporting agricultural lime to neighbouring farmers in Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea, and Senegal," comments CCM's Madani Diallo.
In addition to the investment, IFC is developing an advisory project that will help Malian farmers increase their yields for targeted crops by properly and efficiently using agricultural lime.
Mali’s agricultural land is estimated at 2.4-million hectares, but about two-thirds has only limited productivity. Applying agricultural lime – especially to areas of lower productivity – has the potential to improve soil quality and boost yields.