Monday, October 6, 2008

World Perspective / Photo - 2 [Farming Investment]

Global trends are the excitement for the hedge funds, banks and investors. One that has been gaining steam / noise in the past six to twelve months has been farming for food supplies to regions of the world where farming is cost prohibitive and / or not possible at all.

It is interesting to see the investments out of the Gulf into South and South East Asian farms. A great article on the subject from the Economist here. The not so fortunate part is that the agreements / contracts are mostly at a governmental level, which leave a lot to be desired when it comes to the application of the rule of law in those regions. The loser is and will be the uneducated farmer of these nations. See another good article from Asian Times here.

On the other hand lessons can be learned from the USA where the large corporations have caused the small farmer to cease to exist in an economically viable / successful fashion and other difficult issues have emerged. See explanations, insights and further links in an interesting article here from the Food & Water Watch.

For me it is exciting to see a new opportunity for the Frontier Markets such as Pakistan, Vietnam and Thailand. The topic to watch would be that does the "openness" in business practices that are driven when the individual investor come into a market happen? Does healthy regulation gets developed and then executed consistently? I believe it will.

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