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Proparco has granted a USD 15 million loan repayable over 8 years to Ecuador-based SONGA (Sociedad Nacional de Galapagos) to help boost its production capabilities. Nearly 450 jobs will be created both directly and indirectly over the coming years thanks to the development of this group, reputed for deploying best industry standards at all of its farms.

Songa Group is currently active right across the production value chain, from farming to the marketing of shrimps. This loan will help the company to develop its processing, packaging and refrigeration facilities.

Given the current downturn in the Ecuadorian economy, Proparco’s first operation in the country’s agribusiness sector will provide a real counter-cyclical stimulus by investing in the long-term future of a local business.

A committed and resilient company

Songa is known for the quality of its production and for complying with best health and environmental standards. The processing and packaging plant for all of the Group’s farming facilities is currently in the process of obtaining ASC certification (Aquaculture Stewardship Council) in recognition of Songa’s responsible approach to aquaculture.

Songa’s focus on strict farming practices and its adaptation capabilities help explain the Group’s resilience. It was founded in 1932 and has been able to weather both the recession that hit the Ecuadorian economy at the end of the 1990s and the successive sanitary crises that have impacted the global industry since the 1990s.

A key sector for the Ecuadorian economy

Almost 300 direct jobs are expected to be created over the next five years to keep pace with the development of the processing plant capacity and 150 indirect jobs should also be created in partner aquaculture farms over the same period.

The project also lends support to an agribusiness sector that has become of strategic importance for the Ecuadorian economy following the drop in oil revenue. This sector currently employs 190,000 people and represents 11% of the country’s exports.