BusinessWeek | 25 November 2009 | excerpt only
Maria Bartiromo talks to Jim Rogers, creator of the Rogers International Commodities Index
As BusinessWeek reports this week, global investors are snapping up thousands of acres of farmland in Africa. Money from everywhere—from Saudi Arabia to Wall Street-backed funds—is pouring in. Why the sudden focus on Africa?The gigantic acreage in Africa has been underfarmed because there is not much infrastructure, not much machinery, not much expertise, not much fertilizer. I think the world is going to have huge food problems in the next few years. Other people seem to see that, too, so they're buying up farmland. You can either buy it or lease it. It's very, very cheap, it's incredibly fertile, and it hasn't been overexploited. And if you take in some expertise and some machinery and some fertilizer, you should make a lot of money. The labor's cheap, everything's cheap.
So you think Africa is a good investment opportunity? I think it's a fantastic investor opportunity. Now there are over 50 countries in Africa, so we can't make too gross a generalization. But I mean, in the Congo, you don't even have to plant anything. You just sit by the road long enough, something will grow. Yes, I am very, very optimistic.