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.
Actualmente los grandes compradores son el gobierno de Corea del Sur -que posee en el extranjero más tierras fértiles de las que tiene en su propio país-, seguido de China, Arabia Saudí, Emiratos Árabes Unidos y Japón.
The emergence of the farmland asset class is not without pitfalls with the provision of food always highly political and a tentative global economic recovery potentially threatened by the H1N1 flu pandemic, fund managers said.
When people are using lands under customary tenure arrangements, there is an inequality in bargaining power where no formal titles to the land exist if a foreign investor is interested in purchasing the land.