$16 million sustainability-linked debt facility to support fish farming in India

The Asian Development Bank and ABIS Exports India Private Limited will support the construction of a micro fish feed plant as well as the training of 6,000 locals in aquaculture and financial literacy.

December 7, 2022

Aimed to eradicate extreme poverty, reduce carbon emissions, and improve water conservation, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and ABIS Exports India Private Limited (ABIS), entered into an agreement to subscribe to non-convertible debentures for USD 16 million, to enhance food security in India. The fund will support the construction of a micro fish feed plant and the training of up to 6,000 farmers in climate-resilient fish farming practices as well as financial literacy.

Specialized micro fish feed, which is a new product in the Indian market, is smaller in size than standard feed being suitable for more species. It also floats on the water’s surface for longer, enabling the feed to be completely consumed by the fish rather than sink, 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 USD 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 aquaculture 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 USD 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 USD 3.5 billion from ADB and USD 5 billion in co-financing to be provided to the private sector. The debt facility to ABIS is part of this direct support to the private sector.