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Project Brief

Summaries of proposed guarantees are provided prior to Board consideration and before final contract signing, and they are therefore subject to change. Project briefs are disclosed after Board consideration and contract signing and reflect the terms of the project at the time of contract signature. Environmental and Social Review Summaries are provided for projects assigned an Environmental Assessment Category of A or B.


Project name
Icam Chocolate Uganda Limited
Project ID
Fiscal year
Guarantee holder
Giovanni Aletti
Icam S.P.A.
Investor country
Host country
Environmental category
Date SPG disclosed
November 09, 2010
Project Board date
November 24, 2010
Gross exposure
 $2.1 million
Project type

View Summary of Proposed Guarantee

On January 14, 2011 MIGA issued guarantees supporting investments by Icam SpA and Giovanni Aletti of Italy in Icam Chocolate Uganda Limited. The guarantees total $2.1 million and provide coverage for a period of up to six years against the risks of transfer restriction, expropriation, and war and civil disturbance.

The project consists of the establishment of a new company, Icam Chocolate Uganda Limited, that will set up collection, storage, and processing facilities in three cocoa-producing regions. These facilities will source organically grown green cocoa beans directly from local farmers. Icam Uganda will use a bean-drying and fermentation process what will dry the beans faster and more thoroughly to meet the stringent standards of Icam Italy. This process reduces the risk of mold and fungi, and preserves the cocoa’s desirable taste and aroma. The project intends to source a combined 3900 tons of dry cocoa from the three facilities by the fifth year of operation.

Technical assistance will be provided by agronomists to support local farmers in improving farming practices, which could increase productivity by up to 100 percent. Furthermore, by sourcing the cocoa beans before they have been dried and fermented by the farmers, the project will substantially reduce harvest failure due to bad weather (heavy rains) during the drying and fermenting process.

The project is expected to help boost and diversify Uganda’s agricultural exports. Although the cacao plant was introduced to the country in the early 1900s, it has never become a major export crop like coffee.  Uganda is specifically encouraging cocoa-growing as part of a plan to diversify its exports.

Growing cocoa beans offers also small-scale farmers in Uganda and other tropical countries a livelihood from a product that has strong foreign demand and local environmental benefits, according to researchers at the International Food Policy Research Institute. Cacao bushes can grow alongside food crops on small parcels of land and on poor soils, which makes production more feasible for small farms and women growers.

This project is consistent with the World Bank Group’s Country Assistance Strategy for Uganda, which includes increased productivity and commercialization of agriculture as an outcome. The project was underwritten through MIGA’s Small Investment Program.

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