Agriculture: Out-Of-The-Box Efficiency Plays

Posted by Hard Assets Investor

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Sometimes we forget, but the earth is a finite resource. As the populations and economies in developing nations explode, demand will increase for energy, food, metals and other “essentials”—which will have dramatic effects on the planet’s ability to provide such needs.

With that in mind, it makes sense for the long-time-lined commodity investor to think outside the box a little, as some of the best opportunities lie outside the traditional broad-based bets on energy or gold. Instead, it may be time to get back to basics: farmland.

Agriculture’s Demand

By 2050, the planet’s population is estimated to reach nearly 9.1 billion residents, which is nearly 2.3 billion more than our population now. To keep up, food producers will need to grow nearly 70 percent more food in 2050 than today. Grains alone will account for a large portion of that; according to a 2009 United Nations Food and Agriculture study, “Demand for cereals (for both food and animal feed) is projected to reach some 3 billion tonnes by 2050.”

Unlike fossil fuels, where alternatives do exist, or metals, where recycling is common, in agriculture, the impacts will be substantial. After all, we can forgo driving a giant SUV, but we all have to eat.

….read more Agriculture: Out-Of-The-Box Efficiency Plays