Global AgInvesting Europe – Geneva, Nov 9 – 10 2010

Global AgInvesting Europe 2010 was held on November 9-10, 2010 at the Intercontinental Geneva Hotel in Geneva, Switzerland. Following the success of the second annual Global AgInvesting conference (May 6-7, 2010 in New York, NY), this program presented actionable intelligence on the outlook for global agriculture and the range of investment opportunities available to investors with varying return objectives and and risk tolerances. "The global investment community has recognized that our Global AgInvesting conference series offers unique insight into the complexities of investing in agriculture,” says conference Co-Chair Hunt Stookey, Managing Director at HighQuest Partners. “Our goal is to provide investors with an understanding of the wide variety of private agricultural investments available to them, from farmland to private equity and specialist public equities managers." The whole event had a great success and here I had the opportunity to have a speech on Romania. More details on: http://events.soyatech.com/conferences/GAIEurope_proceedings.htm...
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Organic farmers get green light for feeble financial support

Via:http://www.business-review.ro Romania’s intensive agriculture is still performing below capacity, but ironically enough it is exactly this weakness that makes it a good candidate for organic farming. Up until 2010 there was little financial aid from the state and no European subsidies but from 2011 the authorities have promised a change. Simona Bazavan Romanian agriculture to date is a story of lost opportunity. The country has an arable land capacity of approximately 9.4 million ha, 40 percent of which, if not more, is languishing unused. More than 60 percent of the used arable land is divided up into small plots owned by individuals, making intensive farming difficult. And to give a glimpse of productivity, the lack of investment led local agriculture to generate only 5.8 percent of the GDP last year, despite employing 20 percent of Romania’s total workforce. But it’s not all bad news, as some of these failings are valuable assets...
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Top skills for future leaders

What are the most important skills that will be required of tomorrow’s leaders? In this video interview, management thought leaders- including Dr.Ángel Cabrera (President, Thunderbird School of Management) and Bill George and Dr. Ellen Langer (Professors at the Harvard Business School) - share their ideas about what they consider to be crucial leadership skills - trust, empathy, human connection, accuracy and the ability to impart knowledge to others. But are they missing anything? What qualities do you think characterises a good leader? Via: http://www.innovatrs.com/blog/top-skills-for-future-leaders/ ...
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Invest in VINEYARDS / WINE Romania!

Excellent opportunity in Niculitel area (Tulcea county) for: •    Vineyard farm •    Grapes collection •    Wine storage (large capacity barrels) •    Warehouse and office building Niculitel is one of the most famous vineyards areas of Romania. Remember we are in Northern Dobrogea, very old land of mankind (Macin Mountains the oldest in the world). The landscape is beautiful and at every pace you meet nice people, old women dressed in popular costumes and tradition. The varieties of grapes in this area are for white wines : Aligote, Riesling italian, Feteasca alba etc and for red wines: Feteasca neagra, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir etc. Have a look at the large capacity barrels, they are in good condition and ready to be used. ...
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Silos and transport ‘offer good scope for profits’

Companies have a "good opportunity to make money" building the infrastructure needed to feed a world population growing by some 100m people a year, a top executive at oilseeds giant Bunge has said. While the need to raise crop production by 1.7bn tonnes in the first half of the century to feed the growing population had been appreciated, the problems of transporting and storing the extra had been largely ignored, Carl Hausmann said. "The infrastructure needs of the world have been underinvested in over the last several year," said Mr Hausmann, the former chief executive of Bunge in Europe and North America, now head of the agribusiness giant's corporate affairs. "But if farmers do not get more facilities to store, deliver crops, they cannot increase their production. Infrastructure is a linchpin of the entire agricultural system." Public vs private sectors Developing the transport facilities and silos needed to meet this demand looked likely to come down to private companies, given the squeezes on public sector...
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Romania – Swiss sell Expur but keep 13,000 hectares of farming land

Swiss-held Alimenta Group, the shareholder of Expur Urziceni - producer of vegetable oil brand Ulcom, which last year entered the biodiesel market, will sell all vegetable oil and biodiesel production divisions held via Expur Urziceni to French giant Sofiproteol, but will retain 13,000 hectares of farming land in Galati county. "Agricultural operations, which belong to some of the Expur shareholders are not included in this sale. Agricultural operations involved around 13,000 hectares in the Calarasi area, close to the Danube, where rapeseed, sunflower, wheat, barley, and maize are grown," said Richard Radag, president of Expur Urziceni, without, however, revealing the name of the corporate entity through which the Swiss own these plots. Alimenta Group started negotiations with Sofiproteol for the sale of Expur Urziceni - the biggest biodiesel producer in Europe, with 5.5 billion euros in turnover, with the due diligence process being close to completion. Representatives of...
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Romania – The European Commission approved aid scheme for diesel used in agriculture

Date: May 29th 2010 European Commission announced the Romanian Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development the decision on state aid for applying a rate of excise duty of eur 21 per 1000 litres for diesel used in agriculture. After analyzing GD no. 408/2010 approving State aid granted for diesel used in agriculture, the Commission made no objection and decided that an agreed scheme is compatible with the internal market. However, in its assessment, the Commission found that the legislative act complies with "Community guidelines on state aid in the agriculture and forestry 2007-2013’ and that reducing the duty established by legislative act is intended to help facilitate the development of certain activities or regions economic, without trading conditions to an extent contrary to the common interest. Following the opinion, GD no 408/2010 shall enter into force from Thursday, May 27th 2010. Agricultural diesel users, potential beneficiaries of the scheme should apply, at each supply with diesel sales tax documents (invoices) issued by providers...
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Romanian irrigation rehabilitation and Reform project

Romania Irrigation Rehabilitation and Reform Project, launched in 2003, aims to achieve more economic and equitable use of irrigation water for agricultural production through changes in farmers' and related institutions’ behavior, while increasing agricultural productivity in the project area.  Project benefits include increased agricultural production and higher incomes for farmers because of improved irrigation services; increased social cohesion through community-based management of irrigation systems; and reduced agriculture related pollution through improved environmental management and reduction of seepage losses.  The rehabilitation of the main schemes would directly benefit approximately 40,000 farming families and workers in agricultural associations. Published March 2010. 8 minutes video-documentary link here: http://lnweb90.worldbank.org/ecaim/multimedialib.nsf/country/Romania?opendocument&did=8E201A17B1A903A8852576F6004D2EAF ...
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Romania 2010 – a gate to the agribusiness future

I am pleased to tell you that in June this year, on the 17th and 18th, in fact, I am organising a conference on the agribusiness potential of Romania. Since joining the EU in 2007, Romania has accelerated its economic progress and is in a superbe geographical location to link Europe to the growing markets in the Middle East and Asia, Western Europe or worldwide. Romania is going to be revealed from many different angles of its agricultural potential with eminent Romanian speakers such as ex-Minister of Agriculture, Dr Valeriu Tabara and University professor Dr Mihai Berca. We will also look at the financial and legal structures needed to succeed in business in Romania based on contributions from professional institutions, specialists of agricultural sectors, agri-traders etc. We will also be able to listen and question business-men who are already active in this type of enterprise and happy to share their experience with us. A field trip to one or two farms and...
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