The Global Food Crisis

The end of the plenty By Joel K. Bourne Jr Photograph by John Stanmeyer It is the simplest, most natural of acts, akin to breathing and walking upright. We sit down at the dinner table, pick up a fork, and take a juicy bite, obliv­ious to the double helping of global ramifications on our plate. Our beef comes from Iowa, fed by Nebraska corn. Our grapes come from Chile, our bananas from Honduras, our olive oil from Sicily, our apple juice—not from Washington State but all the way from China. Modern society has relieved us of the burden of growing, harvesting, even preparing our daily bread, in exchange for the burden of simply paying for it. Only when prices rise do we take notice. And the consequences of our inattention are profound. Last year the skyrocketing cost of food was a wake-up call for the planet. Between 2005 and the summer of 2008, the...
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AgriYield 2010 – a conference in Prague

PRAGUE November 25th & 26 2010 Optimise your Agricultural Inputs to Maximise Yield, Efficiency, Sustainability and Investment: The only conference that will give you the in-depth and practical knowledge necessary for you to increase your margins. Expert tips to fast track your route to investment: Practical steps to make your operation attractive to investors. Take advantage of Precision Technology: Innovative ways to make precision techniques and technologies increase yield and reduce waste. Cutting edge advances in seeds, fertilisers and agrochemicals: Unmissable changes that will revolutionise your crops. Harness your FYM, Slurry and fertilisers: Proven techniques to ensure that your fields work for you. Understand Emerging Markets: Understand how operators in South America and India have increased their margins and...
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Brazil – as food superpower in The Economist

September the 6th 2010 via http://www.agfood.net/2010/09/brazil-as-food-superpower-in-economist.html Continuing with AGRI FOOD THNK TANK analysis of what we consider the most promising food producer in the world, we share a couple of analysis made by The Economist during last week. The leading economic magazine. The Economist describes in two recent releases the current situation of Brazil as food producer. Both notes have interesting data on available land, current infrastructure development and potential of the new agricultural frontiers. Brazil has more spare farmland than any other country (see chart 3). The FAO puts its total potential arable land at over 400m hectares; only 50m is being used. Brazilian official figures put the available land somewhat lower, at 300m hectares. Brazil alone (population: 190m) has as much renewable water as the whole of Asia (population: 4 billion). And again, this is not mainly because of the Amazon. Piauí is one of the country’s driest...
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Eastern Europe versus South America

August 18th 2010 Eastern Europe is getting better and better. Romania is coming along. There is a news where Brazil may create some difficulties if you want to buy land, below all article: ‘Foreign real estate investors interested in buying land in Brazil could face a tightening of restricitions as the country cracks down on ownership over food security issues. Those who have already bought land and large rural properties by creating Brazilian companies face title deeds being revoked under tough measures that are currently being drawn up, it has been confirmed. Government officials have confirmed that official policy is that foreigners should not be allowed to buy agricultural land. The Agrian Development Ministry said the government wants to tighten restrictions on foreign ownership of farm lands in Latin America’s biggest country. Ministry spokeswoman Denise Mantovani confirmed published remarks by Minister Guilherme Cassel, who said that the government does not want foreigners to buy agricultural land in Brazil. ‘We do not need foreigners to produce food in...
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Pension funds and farmland investments

(Reuters) – Pension funds are deepening their commitment to farmland, upping investments by billions of dollars and moving to active strategies, as a hedge against potential inflation and to diversify from riskier investments. Leading the charge are U.S. and European pension funds, although it is estimated that the amount of institutional money invested is less than 1 percent of global farmland value, with concentration in food exporting regions. A growing world population, limited water resources and finite amounts of land available have made farmland attractive to investors beyond traditional owners — private families.U.S. pension fund TIAA-CREF has around $2 billion (1.3 billion pounds) invested in farmland of the $426 billion it has under management and is looking to expand its farmland holdings. “If we found the right opportunities we’d be willing to double our existing exposure over the new few years,” said Jose Minaya, managing director of global private markets at the fund.“This is just another asset class that has the potential of...
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The world agriculture industry

A study in falling supply and raising demand By Hardman & Co Published on May 26th 2010 Agricultural Land Available: 1.5 trillion hectares Value of world’s Agricultural Land: US$5 trillion World Population 2010: 6.8bn World Population 2050: 9.1bn Africa’s Population 2010: 1.8bn Africa’s Population 2050: 3.6bn 10 Year Performance, US Farmland: +100% 10 Year Performance, UK Farmland: +95% Word per Capita Food Consumption. 1965: 2,358 kcal per person World per Capita Food Consumption 1998: 2,803 kcal per person World per Capita Food Consumption 2030 est: 3,050 kcal per person Pooled Funds Available for Agricultural Investment, Worldwide, listed in this study: 18 Quoted Agricultural Stocks Available For Investment, Worldwide, listed in this study: 42 After decades on the periphery as an investment category, farmland worldwide is increasingly becoming an acceptable holding for traditional investment funds. We believe that farmland, and agriculture generally, will shortly move beyond the ‘acceptable’ in the eyes of the world’s investment management community and become a core product. In the future, we believe, it will be as normal for a pension fund to...
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USDA AGRICULTURAL PROJECTIONS TO 2019

Key Assumptions and Implications Major assumptions underlying the projections and selected implications include: Economic Growth • U.S. and world economic growth reflect a recovery from the global financial crisis and economic recession, with a transition back to steady economic gains. • Global economic growth is assumed to rebound to a 3.3-percent average growth rate for 2010-19. A resumption of high growth rates in emerging market countries, such as China and India, and a return to strong growth in other developing countries and countries of the former Soviet Union underpin this macroeconomic result. • The U.S. economy resumes growth at 2.5 percent in 2010 and 3.2 percent in 2011, followed by an average rate of 2.7 percent over the remainder of the projection period. With slower growth in the United States than in the world economy, the U.S. share of global gross domestic product (GDP) falls from about 27 percent currently to 25 percent at the end of the projection period. • The return to broad-based, steady global economic growth supports longer term gains in world...
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Experts forecasts a rerating of ag-related investments

Land may become the world’s biggest asset class, and listed farm operators win an upward rerating, Hardman & Co has said in a report identifying agriculture services groups as the next focus of sector investment. Farmland prices have, in doubling in the UK and US over the last decade, made shares look “an embarrassingly inept bet”, the London broker said. Stocks have fallen by 10-20% during the same period. Farmland, whose $5,000bn value equates to about 7-10% of the value of world equity markets, could be worth 15-25% of share values by 2020. “By 2050, it is possible to argue that food producing land might have a superior value to all other asset classes,” Hardman analyst Doug Hawkins said, noting forecasts of rising global populations. “This land is feeding over 6bn people and is being pressed into feed a further 3bn by 2050.” The broker noted the growth of funds dedicated to investing in farmland, with Emergent Asset Management proposing to invest some $4bn...
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Tyres key to efficiency

BY GRAHAM FULLER 26 Jun, 2010 10:26 AM TRACTOR drivers may be familiar with the trend towards higher road speeds, but the latest tyre technology continues to take the industry to the next level.In the eyes of Sydney-based Tyres4U national manager, Robert Kovacs, tractor tyres are "very technical pieces of equipment," allowing modern-day farm workhorses "to do what they need to do". With a wealth of experience under his belt he makes the point that tyres remain one of the most important features on any tractor, requiring attention to detail when optimising the in-paddock performance of any tractor/implement combination. "Not only do you have to bear in mind ground compaction but also wheel-slip and driver comfort - to name but a few issues," Mr Kovacs said, adding that not every tyre suits every application. "While a big 500hp 4WD tractor would be equipped with specialist broadacre tyres they would be entirely unsuitable...
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