Yayla Agro, a family-owned producer of pulses and rice in Turkey, has secured financial support from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development to build a new plant.

A loan of EUR20m (US$21.2m), EUR6m of which will be extended by the Taiwan International Cooperation and Development Fund (TaiwanICDF), will finance the establishment of a plant in Mersin, southern Turkey, for organic ready-to-eat products.

Jean-Patrick Marquet, the managing director of the EBRD's operations in Turkey, said: "The nature of Yayla Agro's business requires the company to be able to buy a sufficient quantity of legumes at harvest and throughout the year. The bank's loan will provide long-term financing to support the company's day-to-day operations, refinance existing loans and help it venture into the new ready-to-eat niche which will help Yayla Agro conquer new markets."

In addition, the EBRD said it would help the company "further improve its corporate governance to continue its transformation from a family business to a modern corporation".

Hasan Gumus, Yayla Agro's chairman, said: "We are shaping our production, supply chain and product range for the future with a view to adding value for all our customers. We have customers in national and local supermarkets, discount markets, and through home-based shopping channels and dealers in local and international markets."

Yayla Agro is based in Ankara and runs plants in Mersin as well as in Kazan in the province of Ankara, with an overall capacity of 820,000 tonnes per year. The EBRD said the company exports to more than 45 countries and "has almost tripled its sales over the past three years". It is now planning to increase its share of sales in value-added products, the EBRD said.