The following commentary does not necessarily reflect the views of AgWeb or Farm Journal Media. The opinions expressed below are the author's own.
Mike Walsten has covered major business trends in agriculture for more than 40 years.
The London-based Financial Times reports the World Bank will soon issue a report listing concerns about nations and investors buying farmland in other nations. The story, written by Javier Blas, states the report says investors are targeting nations with weak laws and are failing to deliver on their promises to bring investment and jobs to the nation selling the land. The story contains an interesting chart showing the amount of large land transfers reported during 2004 to 2009.
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As another indicator of the interest in owning agricultural land, Financial Times reporters Tom Mitchell and Robert Cookson filee this story about a farmland development group's effort to raise funds, buy Brazilian rural land and eventually launch an initial public stock offering on the Hong Kong stock exchange. The firm is called Agrifirma Brazil which has acquired 60,000 hectares (about 148,000 acres) in Bahia province. The article indicates it plans on boosting its holdings to 100,000 hectares by the time of the offering.
It's also interesting to see this interest going forward in view of recent statements by Brazilian government officials about wanting to eliminate foreign ownership of farmland. (See Will Brazil Shut The Door On Foreign Ownership Of Farmland? in an earlier posting.)
Click here for the story. The Financial Times web site may ask you to register before you are able to access thefull article. That registration is free.