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DEG finances peanut processor in Nicaragua

Press Release from 2020-09-22 / DEG

Long-term loan of USD 20 million for Comercializadora de Mani S.A. (COMASA)

Central America faces great economic challenges – especially during the coronavirus pandemic. This makes it all the more important for local companies to come through the crisis in good shape. DEG – Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH – is therefore providing a long-term loan totalling USD 20 million to Comercializadora de Mani S.A. (COMASA), a leading peanut-processing company in Nicaragua. The loan will serve to refinance loans from local commercial banks, allow new investment and thus provide long-term job security for around 830 employees, over 470 seasonal workers and suppliers.

COMASA was founded in 1992 in Chinandega, located in Nicaragua’s fertile north-west, and holds multiple certificates, including that issued under the BRCGS Global Standard for Food Safety, which defines clear food safety requirements for manufacturers and is recognised worldwide. COMASA also sets standards for sustainable supply chain management and peanut processing. The company works with 180 local peanut suppliers employing a combined total of up to 1,800 people, allowing them to earn income for themselves and their families. Four in-house plants process the supplied peanuts as raw product, and a local oil mill produces peanut oil from the residues. COMASA also has five peanut farms of its own.

Major employer and exporter

The company accounts for two percent of Nicaragua’s annual exports and has established itself as a stable source of income for the country. A large part of the raw product goes directly to Europe and Mexico/Central America. Customers include both international corporations and regional businesses.

“With our loan to COMASA we are supporting a strong local agricultural enterprise that is taking every precaution during this time of pandemic. We are also advising our customer on energy efficiency and corporate governance,” says Monika Beck, member of DEG’s Management Board.

“This long-term partnership with DEG has opened new opportunities and supported our company during these tough times of pandemic. DEG is a good ally for our future projects in every link of our peanut value chain,” says Jaime del Carmen, CFO of COMASA.

Prudent Covid-19 response measures

In its role as an international development finance institution, DEG remains a reliable partner, especially during the current pandemic. It has also supported COMASA in its endeavours by offering special Covid-19 response measures. For example, peanut suppliers are already receiving guidelines for the harvest, which starts in November, so that necessary hygiene measures can be implemented in good time.

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