An internal document recently posted on IRRI's website reveals that the Institute has been advising Saudi Arabia in the context of its strategy to acquire farm land overseas for its own food production.
Resource-hungry China has so far passed over investing in high-priced farmlands of South America in favor of Africa, with its less developed commodities markets, greater need for financing and open labor laws.
Gulf states buying farmland in developing nations for food security face the risk of damaging their reputation as international investors as the deals are seen as land grabs, a Rothschild executive said yesterday.
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.
Rothschild has recently formed a co-operation agreement with Rabobank, a leading global food and agricultural bank. The agreement covers co-operation for mergers and acquisitions and the equity capital market across a number of sectors including farm inputs and equipment, farm-based commodities, primary food processing, food processing and beverages.
Prime Minister Taro Aso says he will call on world to develop principles promoting responsible foreign investment in agriculture in the face of "land grabs" of large-scale farmland in poor nations to ensure food supplies for wealthy nations.