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    Investment: 2011
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Tuna Ranching vs. Tuna Farming

Bluefin tuna is an endangered species. Stocks are down 60% to 80% worldwide. Demand keeps prices high. Without international monitoring and management these magnificent creatures will disappear. This point isn’t too far off according to environmental groups monitoring the situation. So industry researchers and innovators have been experimenting with tuna ranching and farming, which are not the same thing. Commercial tuna fishing operators rejoiced in April ...

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Agricultural Investment Funds

The World Development Movement

The World Development Movement has been pushing for the past 2 years for a regulatory clamp down on hedge funds and banks in the commodities market. The World Development Movement argues the speculation creates volatility in global food markets. Big investment banks are betting on the price of staple foods, like wheat, maize and soya. This creates higher food prices and poverty levels, especially in developing nations. The finance ministers of Europe are set to rule in October 2012 on new rules against food speculation ...

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Dry Bean

Investment Potential

When investors think of bean futures they often think of coffee, cacao or soy beans. Red beans, black beans, lentils, garbanzos and pinto beans are also graded and traded on international commodities exchanges. The leading producers of edible beans are China, Brazil and India, each with more than 3 million tons of production annually. In Latin America, Mexico is the major bean producer with 2 million tons annually, and Argentina is a niche player ...

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Red Roses, Blue Skies

A Glimpse at the LatAm Flower Industry

The world’s first economic bubble involved the collapse in the 1630's of the greatly inflated tulip market in the Netherlands. Since this period in the Dutch Golden age, referred to as "tulip mania,” the flower industry has consisted mainly of regional players. In the 1960’s flower exports from South America began challenging California growers, when the industry was concentrated near primary markets in the E.U. and U.S. Also during that time, big changes over the previous decade ...

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Gauging the Effects of Climate Change

On Brazilian Agricultural Output

Brazil has established itself as a global agricultural powerhouse, boasting about a quarter of the world’s arable land.  It is the world leader in several major commodity exports, including coffee, sugar cane, ethanol and beef, among others, and the most recent OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook predicts that growth will only continue to surge in the coming decade.  Consequently many see Brazil as the most important provider of food to a world facing the specter of food shortages amidst swelling populations and disruptive climate change ...

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Agribusiness Roundup

A Recap of LatAm's Dynamic Agricultural Sector

The end of the year is a good time to look back on commodities covered recently in this space. As we consider recent reports and this year’strends in our hemisphere’s dynamic agricultural sector, we would like to thank you, our readers, for your inquiries and invite your feedback. Citrus production grew 3% in Spain this year, not enough to keep up with growth in EU demand. Peru increased its EU export volume by 10% despite static production levels, due to steady growth in market prices.  Florida Citrus Mutual forecasts a 5% production increase for 2011-12 over the prior season ...

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Venture Capital Investing in Brazilian Agritech

ALI Speaks with Francisco Jardim of Criatec São Paulo

Around 2005, the Brazilian National Development Bank (BNDES), one of Brazil’s largest institutional investors and the largest development bank in the world, noticed a void in public funding for early stage venture capital in the country, particularly in the areas of innovation and technology.  Brazil’s universities were rife with entrepreneurs and innovators, and the balance had shifted at São Paulo’s business schools, with more and more top-of-the-class graduates embarking entrepreneurial ventures instead of traditional financial careers ...

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A big business in LatAm

Since 1985, citrus consumption and production have increased steadily, and due to improvements in transportation and packaging, costs have lowered as quality has improved. Limes are the smallest members of the citrus family, but they are big business.  It is rare to find a market or even a kitchen without limes. Mexico and India grow the most limes, each producing more than 2 million tons annually, though India does not export them, as domestic demand exceeds supply. Argentina and Brazil each produce more than 1 million tons of fresh limes on an annual basis ...

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Brazilian Agribusiness

How to Enter the Market

 Foreign entrepreneurs are entering the Brazilian agribusiness sector, reaping the benefits of an agricultural powerhouse that is among the world ́s leading producers and exporters of soybean, corn, coffee, and sugar, among other cash crops. In the last year, however, many have been forced to alter their business models in light of new regulations restricting foreign ownership of land. Philip Corzine is one such investor. An established soy farmer in Illinois, in 2003 he founded South American Soy, a U.S.-based company with large, crop-yielding land holdings in the Brazilian state of Tocantins, in central Brazil ...

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Cultivating Crops that Grow Well in the Americas

 While the USA is the world leader in tree nut production, growing nuts in Latin America represents a significant investment opportunity.  The USA produces one-third of world nut volume and half is exported to Europe. Nut consumption is high in many countries where domestic growers may enjoy a logistical advantage but suffer from high labor costs, high taxes, regulation, less ability to borrow money, increased fertilizer and orchard costs. This article explores the various types of nuts and their demand worldwide. With many types of nuts being cultivated in Latin America is there any reason the region could not displace the number two producer, Turkey with one-fourth of world volume? ... 

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Nicaragua - Taking its Agribusiness Sector up a Notch

Investing In Agribusiness in Central America

 In today’s highly competitive world, finding sources of safe, reliable and high-quality agricultural products, within close proximity to the world’s largest markets, is becoming increasingly challenging. As development, raw materials and labor costs make it more difficult to produce and maintain the levels of competitiveness, many offshore agricultural operations are now looking to Nicaragua. So what’s the big deal with Nicaragua? Here’s a sneak peak. Nicaragua, historically called the “breadbasket of Central America,” has a long tradition of agriculture and livestock, as both have been fundamental to the country’s economy for more than 150 years. Traditional agricultural products … 

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Fish Farming - New Opportunities on the horizon?

Aquaculture in Latin America

The World Aquaculture Society is set to meet in Natal, Brazil June 6 – 10, 2011. Aquaculture is big business in Latin America. Worldwide, nearly half of all fish consumed are now raised in fish farms and more than half of all wild catch species being monitored are listed as “fully exploited” and one-fourth of the species are “overexploited”. This is a market with strong growth potential.  Hunting fish as we do now is not sustainable. Aquaculture began in Latin America in the 1940’s for recreational and restocking purposes.  It grew rapidly in the 1970’s as a source for ...


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Bamboo for Construction

Agribusiness Opportunities in Latin America

Nature has provided a perfect plant for building - bamboo. As wood becomes increasingly scarce and expensive, the ancient tradition of building with bamboo is becoming more popular than ever. The bamboo goods industry is expected to reach 25 billion USD next year, according to Jonathan Bardelline,  The tensile strength of bamboo canes is high enough to use for the structural framework of a home.  This beautiful and long-lasting material can be used inside and outside of the home for window casings and trim, flooring, cabinets, and doors. Bamboo can be grown at a construction site in months …   

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Three Strategies for Investing in the Latin American Agricultural Sector

Agribusiness Investing in the Latin American Sector

 Several clear forces are driving the current upward trend in soft commodities:  the increased protein content in diets in developing world countries; the use of grain to feed animals due to transformation of grasslands into agricultural land; and the use of grains for biofuel production. The US, former Soviet countries and Latin America are the largest oilseeds and grain producing regions in the world, but Latin America, with its large stock of arable land and access to renewable sources of water, is the one region best positioned to sustain significant further growth … 

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Coffee's Record-breaking prices

Investing in Central American coffee

 Central American coffee prices have skyrocketed since last year’s coffee article in this space.  ALI spoke again with farmers in Costa Rica & Panama about this dynamic market; these farmers are featured in the insets below, with contact info for more information. One market yardstick for coffee growers in this region is the price of coffee cherries per lata. Lata is a volumetric measure usually containing 28 to 30 lbs of freshly-picked coffee cherries.  2010 coffee markets witnessed 13-year highs. In 2003 the price per lata varied in Central America between $3.50 and $4.25 ... 

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Ahuacatl: A Fruit for the Ages

Studying the history of the avocado and its agribusiness potential

 The avocado has been revered for centuries for both its nutrition and taste. A Peruvian mummy from 800 BC was recently uncovered along with avocado seeds. Researchers believe that avocados were most likely buried with the dead due to their aphrodisiacal qualities, which could prove useful in the afterlife.Avocados are high in valuable fats and appear to have a beneficial effect on blood serum levels. For a typical avocado:About 75% of an avocado's calories come from fat, most of which is monounsaturated.Avocados have 60% more potassium than bananas … 


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Beekeeping in Latin America

A primer for those who are interested in beekeeping as a business

 Bees are essential for honey and for the pollination of crops. These productive creatures accomplish both purposes at the same time. For those who have never considered the possibility of beekeeping as a business, this article will serve as a primer.Latin America is home to two of the world's major honey producing and exporting countries, Brazil and Argentina; Mexico is a much smaller exporter. In the U.S., demand for imported honey and pollinators has grown since bee colonies began dying off due to colony collapse disorder.There is currently a shortage of honey available for international markets and a growing … 

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Analysis and history of vanilla cultivation and its worth as an agribusiness investment

 Vanilla has been one of the world’s favorite fragrances and flavors since arriving in Europe from Mexico. It is the second most expensive spice after saffron. Today, the food industry uses mostly imitation vanilla flavoring, but there is nothing like real vanilla beans from the orchid native to Mexico, now grown in tropical countries worldwide.Olmec farmers from the Gulf of Mexico’s Veracruz area were the first to cultivate vanilla, originally used to flavor cocoa to make chocolate over 3500 years ago. In the 1400’s, the Aztecs conquered the Totonac Indians, ancestors of the Olmecs, who paid tribute to the … 

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Cacao: Ready For Investment

Study of cacao as an agribusiness investment in Central America, South America, and Mexico

 Presently, half of the global supply of chocolate comes from Africa’s Ivory Coast.  Asia produces less than Africa. Both origins provide logistical advantages for processing in the Netherlands, where most chocolate is processed. Latin America is a more sensible origin for the USA, the world’s 2nd largest processor. The largest producers of cacao in the Americas are Brazil, Ecuador & Venezuela with a combined market share of 10%.  Central America, South America, and Mexico provide interesting opportunities due to their proximity to world’s biggest market, favorable cost structures, and abundance of suitable rain forest with existing seed crops … 

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Panamanian Coffee Production

An analysis of Coffee in Panama and its potential as an export commodity

 Coffee is one of the world’s biggest export commodities, the top agricultural export for a dozen countries and one of the world's ten largest legal agricultural exports by value. (Source: FAO Statistics Division.) According to John Talbot of the University of the West Indies, “Coffee is the second most valuable commodity exported by developing countries, a distant second to crude oil,” but well ahead of third place sugar and other agricultural, forestry and mining outputs.
“The number of people who depend on coffee for all or most of their living is in excess of 75 million,” according to Ric Rhinehart … 

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Agave & Tequila

A Case Study in the Evolution of opportunity in Agave production

 In 1974 Mexico’s government established the Appellation of Origin Tequila (DOT) to establish guidelines for agave production. The agave grower’s cycle from planting through harvest takes about a decade. This is one reason tequila is so expensive lately— forecasting demand with ten years lead time is difficult. According to regulations of the Norma Official Mexicana (NOM), Tequila can only be produced from agave grown in the volcanic soils in and around the Jalisco region, much like Champagne can only be produced in that region of France. But unlike grapes from Champagne, agave production has seen wide variations in up … 

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Brazil Iowa Farms Case Study

A company providing U.S. agricultural producers a venue to conduct agribusiness in Brazil

Brazil Iowa Farms, LLC is an integrated agribusiness company headquarted in Royal, Iowa that owned and operated 22,550 acres of producing farmland and a cotton gin in the Brazilian state of Bahia. Grupo Iowa, as the company is known as in Brazil, was created in 2002 to provide U. S. agricultural producers a venue to participate in the growing agricultural climate that exists in the current economic model in Brazil.

The first Brazilian land acquisition took place in 2004 and since then, Brazil Iowa farms has continued to expand its presence in the western Brazilian region of Bahia … 

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Agribusiness Opportunity in Latin America

The various farming cooperatives and small regional growers associations in Latin America

 Latin America is home to hundreds of farming cooperatives and small regional growers associations. Often these cooperatives and associations are home to as much competition as cooperation. This represents a challenge when growers seek access to export markets for their produce. It also represents an opportunity for development that will create sustainable growth in the agribusiness sector. Mexico’s proximity to the USA, coupled with its climate and the availability of low-cost farm labor, make it a logical source for meeting growing fruit and vegetable consumption in the USA. The value of U.S. agricultural imports … 

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