TBILISI, GEORGIA (29 January 2021) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Credo Bank JSC (Credo) signed a $4 million loan to support agricultural micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), low-income farm households, women-owned MSMEs, and agri-tourism in Georgia.
“Credo’s services in remote rural areas and support for the micro-agriculture sector are integral in safeguarding rural livelihoods and supporting women borrowers, and will help to mitigate the economic impacts of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic,” said Director of ADB’s Private Sector Financial Institutions Division Christine Engstrom. “This funding will provide crucial support for agriculture enterprises, enabling them to continue making important contributions to the country’s food security.”
Around 40% of Georgia’s active working-age population are employed in agriculture. Most of them are self-employed and have limited access to social welfare support systems. ADB’s financing will help Credo to provide additional lending to its clients in the sector to mitigate the resurgence of poverty incidence caused by the pandemic.
As of December 2020, Credo has served 336,748 borrowers through 75 branches. More than half of its 2,486-strong workforce are women. The bank has a strong presence in agricultural lending with over 219,957 individual borrowers in that sector, 53% of whom are women borrowers. In 2015, ADB supported Credo’s development from a microfinance lender to a bank. It provided further support in 2019 for Credo’s affordable housing programs and outreach to improve financial literacy and access to digital services among rural women.
ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.