Betting the farm – and winning

Investors are buying Canadian agricultural land, betting that rising food prices, a ballooning global population and growing worldwide scarcities in farmland will mean a payoff for them.

Farmland investments and political risk - Venezuelan nationalisations

"Foreign governments and institutional investors have only recently been moving into the space and in a very limited way and yet they have already generated considerable controversy and political backlash where they have deployed capital into the emerging markets. We believe that this will only become worse over time," says Agcapita's Stephen Johnston.

UN softens stand on rush to buy farmland

Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi calls it the “new feudalism.” Groups representing peasant farmers call it “land grabs.” The United Nations literature dispersed at this week's UN food summit in Rome calls it “direct foreign investment.”

Cheap Canadian farmland lures foreign buyers

Hancock Agricultural Investment Group, a Boston-based unit of Toronto's Manulife Financial Corp., decided its first Canadian purchase would be an 1,100-acre (450-hectare) patch of land that it called "one of the most highly productive properties in the industry." The company will not disclose how much it paid, or even the exact location of the farm. But president Jeff Conrad said the company is in Canada to stay, and the fund plans to seek more land.

Food crisis: Fields of gold

According to Steve Yuzpe, the CFO of Sprott Resource, ongoing population growth, dwindling arable land, water issues, even the falling yield productivity delivered by genetically modified seeds will be the big drivers for continued record demand—pushing food prices ever higher.

Interview: Stephen Johnston, Agcapita Partners

Direct investment in farmland has outperformed stock and bond returns over various timescales with substantially lower volatility than the US equity market, according to Stephen Johnston of Calgary-based Agcapita Partners

David Stevenson: Farmland looks dirt cheap

While everyone from the Rothschild’s – via the Agrifirma Brazil fund, run with Jim Slater – through to Nicola Horlick and UBS are snapping up farmland in Brazil, I’m fascinated by another niche: Canada and New Zealand.

This land is our land?

While ordinary Canadians watch their pensions and jobs evaporate in the global economic mess, those who brought us the crisis have found a new profit-making toy. It’s land-grabbing, 21st-century style. Canada is not being spared.

Some large investors views on farmland

Soros recently became the largest shareholder in Adecoagro one of the leading agribusiness companies in South America whose main activities are the production of grains, rice, oilseed, dairy products, sugar, ethanol, coffee, cotton and cattle meat.

Flow of investment dollars to farms seen growing

From Kansas to Kenya, investment opportunities in a range of global farm-related ventures are increasingly drawing capital to what many players and analysts see as the early days of a burgeoning bull market in agriculture.

Betting the farm

As world population expands, the demand for arable land should soar. At least that's what George Soros, Lord Rothschild, and other investors believe.