Hedge Fund Invests in Agriculture


See how a hedge fund investment in agriculture agrees with our agricultural alternatives.

ecuador-farmland

Ecuador farmland is rich.

Messages at this site have recommended investing in agriculture in Ecuador and the US since the 1990s.

Excerpts from a recent article at landgrab.org entitled “Hedge-fund millionaire Diggle bets on farms, life sciences”  by Netty Ismail reinforces this thinking:   After buying farms in Uruguay and Illinois, as well as a kiwi-and-avocado orchard in New Zealand, hedge-fund millionaire Stephen Diggle plans to pour money into Africa and eastern Europe as global food prices soar.

Stephen Diggle, who co-founded a hedge fund that made $2.7 billion in 2007 and 2008, plans to open his personal farmland portfolio to investors and start a fund that will trade life-sciences companies.

“The one thing I didn’t want to do was to spend the rest of my life talking about how great 2008 was,” Diggle said. “You have to move on and find new challenges. That’s what gets you up in the morning.”

LAVA seeks to produce returns that aren’t correlated with the market by trading instruments that thrive on volatility, such as options, warrants, and convertible bonds. The fund uses strategies such as arbitraging or profiting from disparities in the price of similar securities simultaneously traded on more than one market, and tends to work well when markets go down.

“The cost of being long volatility on a daily basis as a buy and hold strategy is not going to make money in the next few years,” Diggle said. “You have to be more deft in your timing and more selective in what you own.”

Farmland Transfer

Diggle plans to transfer ownership of his farmland into a holding company, in which outside investors can hold shares, he said. Vulpes, which currently manages about $200 million, will own and operate the company. After buying farms in Uruguay and Illinois, as well as a kiwi-and-avocado orchard in New Zealand, he plans to pour money into Africa and eastern Europe as global food prices soar.

The value of farmland in the U.S. has probably gained 20 percent to 30 percent in the last two years, while Diggle’s investments in Uruguay may have risen 50 percent as sheep and cattle prices almost doubled in Latin America this year, he said.

Agriculture would be the “single most interest opportunity over the next 10 to 20 years,” Diggle said.

Vulpes favors investments in metals, energy and food, and “dislikes” government bonds, he said.

“Being long stuff in the ground is going to be a better place to be than holding pieces of paper,” Diggle said.

‘Biggest Risk’

Governments and their policies represent the biggest threat to investors, he said. “The biggest risk will come from governments: government interference in markets, government debt and government manufacturing of paper money to pay off the debt,” he said.

We do act on what we wrote about and have invested in agriculture in North Carolina…  Florida and Ecuador.

This is why the first property we purchased in Ecuador was our 962 hacienda, a former sugar cane plantation with a bold trout river. This is also why this is the only of our Ecuador properties we would not sell.

farm-land

Front yard at Hacienda Rosaspamba.

This is why we purchased our 252 acre farm in North Carolina where we introduced the idea of Sustainable Draftwood.

farm-land

The Blue lines are the roads we have added to the land.

farm-land

Our Florida groves. See more at Florida Gold

This is also why we have been promoting Ecuador agricultural tours conducted by Jean Marie Butterlin. (See latest tour below.)

ecuador-farmland

Ecuador farmland.

Jean Marie recently sent me this note.

Part I:  Ecuador Agriculture Business Summary

Introduction :

We were all taught that Investing is all about relationships between risk and reward.

But the most important point is, that we are always looking FIRST for the return of THE money (safety) before  SECOND the return ON the money (yield)!

When investing, we are asking ourselves these 3 questions :

–       How safe is the asset and how much does it yield ?

–       How liquid is the asset we are buying (i.e. how quickly can we sell it for cash) ?

–       What happens if the US$ drops or goes up? (Ecuador of course is a dollarized country.)

We have been studying the Ecuadorian agriculture business for some time now and have found out good opportunities for making some nice returns,  We are investing right now in Ecuadorian land as we have in the past invested in Ecuadorian real estate esp. in Bahia, which is the cheapest coast in the world.

We have assembled a team of experts in agriculture: agri-engineers , business management, sales and marketing, accounting, legal areas.   But most importantly we have setup a network of locals in many parts of the productive province of Manabi, whom we call “spotters”.  These spotters help us find the available properties at the best possible price.  These spotters live within the community and know the history and  the owner of each property.  They help us to sort out any deed issues and we also get all the info: the good, bad , for instanc any  potential problems with water, neighbors, etc.

Our team allows us to minimize the risks associated with agri-business from knowing all about potential pest problems in an area to the date of last drought or flooding, etc.

When buying an asset class, one has to ask also, how desirable that asset will be in the foreseable future.   Mankind just passed the 7 billion mark and arable land is decreasing every year.  China is buying all over the world big tracks of land to secure enough food production for their own people  and more and more land is allocated to making biofuel.  This is one of the areas we are working also in Manabi.

Ecuador still has one of the best and cheapest land available in all South America.

What I have found in Ecuador is a nice RISK/REWARD combination :

–       Land will never go down in price like housing has done in the past; no bubble yet

–       Ecuador law is pro-foreign ownership

–       Land is still cheap : $500/hectare to $5,000/hectare depending on water availability.

–       Good labor : qualified and cheap

–       On site management by Ecuadorian experts supervised by a team of business people that have experience in managing businesses.

 

Part II:  Profit potential in Ecuador Agriculture :

How much can you expect to make in an Ecuador agri business?

It depends on 3 factors :

–       price of the land

–       combination of crops

–       quality of management

We have our own team of experts working for us. These experts have their own farms and teach at agri-engineers schools.  For example, one of them was born in Israel (Israel knows how to grow food in the desert) and has managed a 15,000 acre cacao farm in Ecuador.  He now manages his own farms.

Here are the 2 big questions we are always being asked : If the agri-business is so good, why are not more people getting into it and why are most Ecuadorian farmers so poor ?

The answer to Question #1 is simple : It is not easy to find good available property, with deeds etc…. as Ecuadorian hold onto their properties and do not sell easily. That is why I have setup a network of locals that roam the countryside where they live and where they are respected.

The answer to Question #2 is a bit more complex but has a lot to do with access to funding for poor Ecuadorian farmers, as well as business education of these farmers.  There also of course is the problems with the “middlemen”.   This is one of the problems of Ecuadorian agriculture.

There are also a lot of rich Ecuadorian farmers….. and they are making a lot of money even by US standards.

When we talk about management :

•We choose to bring crops to the market at the ideal time of the year when prices are at the highest timing of the planting.

•We chose crops where there is less competition and lots of demand.

•We choose crops that are ideal for the soil, water and sun.

•We choose crops that have clients ready to purchase before we plant.

•We choose crops that are least disease prone.

•We choose crops that are not too labor intensive.

•We choose crops that have big potential in the future.

•We select a combination of crops for each finca that will maximize income/cash flow and minimize risks.

•We think  “outside the box” = innovation!

ecuador-agriculture

The net income per hectare is about $2,700.  We plant a minimum of 4 hectare in a specific area.

Cost of acquisition of the land is about $3,000/ha

This shows that initial land costs will be paid back in about just over a year.

ecuador-agriculture

ecuador-agriculture

ecuador-agriculture

ecuador-agriculture

Balsawood has a 4 year crop cycle.  The wood is very much in demand worldwide as there only a few countries that can produce this kind of wood.

Acquisition cost per hectare is about $2,500 on average.  And it can be a hilly type farm.

On a minimum 10 hectare farm net income can be for 4 years is $139,000.

When acquisition costs of the land are deducted, total cash flow on a typical 4 year period is : $114,000 (and of course you still own the land).

For a typical $25,000 original land investment and a $17,120 investment in planting and growing (total $42,120) you could expect to get $156,250 gross income from the sale of the wood for a net cash flow of $114,000.

For the second 4 year cycle, the cash flow should be $139,000 as the land has aleady paid for itself.

We also can elect to farm other short cycle crops like Aji, (the red Pepper) that is sold exclusively to the Tabasco Company. Tabasco pre-buys the whole crop at a fixed price.

Cacao is another crop that is a longer cycle crop as it takes 4 years to really start harvesting.  The Ecuadorian Cacao has a good réputation and sells well.

Papaya is also a vey profitable short cycle crop.

An area that will see a big development is the bio-fuel and bio-diesel.  Ecuador produces already a lot of palm oil but pinon and linseed oil are extremely profitable crops as well.  The whole harvest is also pre-sold to companies that produce bio-fuel.  The price is linked to the oil market price.

Bamboo production is also a good option on any farm and the Manabi climate is well suited for the constant growth of bamboo production.

Part III: Cash Flow Management :

In our development strategy, we aim to maximize regular cash flow i.e. combining one specific short cycle crops like plantain or passion fruit and one longer cycle crops like balsawood or cacao. This enables us to minimize capital outlay to acquisition costs and first year production costs.  Income from short term crops will pay for cost of longer cycle crops.

Part IV:  Management Package :

We offer a management package that we provide to our clients, and it is all based on shared net revenues.

The client invests in a farm that he owns outright himself; minimum is $100,000 in order to have a nice size farm and operating cash flow.

Part V: Our Vision:

•Chemical free agriculture :

We only use organic and sustainable agriculture.  (Organic pest control is a lot cheaper and healthier of course.)  The key is having the ability to monetize the organic side of the business.

•Help the local economy and local communities in Ecuador.

Part VI:  FAQ :

Why are not more people investing in Ecuador agriculture ?

a) Ecuadorian campesinos are not business people.  They are usually not entrepreneurs and do not have easy access to cheap credit to finance their production costs.  They often prefer a low income lifestyle than high stress work.

b)  A lot of Ecuadorian farms are highly successful when run by smart educated people.

c)  The big investors are just finding out about how cheap and how fertile Ecuador land is.

What is the rate of return on the investment?

On a 10 year average,  a good managed farm can produce between 20 and 30% return ; cash flow is generated at the end of each crop cycle.  This takes into account 2 bad years of production every 10 years, due to unpredictable weather pattern like a strong el niño.

What will we provide?

– Selection of the land: with pros and cons

– Selection of the crops for maximum cash flow and lowest risks

– Management of the farm including sales of the crops

What is our business model ?

We only make money when our Client/Partner makes money. We take a percentage of gross sales payable only when money is received from the crop buyer.

Appendix 1 :Balsawood

ecuador-agriculture

The balsa wood tree, scientifically named Ochroma lagopus, is a relatively fast growing plant found primarily in Central and South America. Balsa wood trees grow best under the conditions found in rainforests, ideally in mountainous terrain between rivers. The country of Ecuador is perhaps the largest exporter of balsa wood, although many local farmers consider the plant to be little more than a weed.

Balsa wood is one of the lightest varieties of wood available, but not the absolute lightest. It is remarkably strong for its weight, however. Originally, the US military sought out balsa wood as a substitute for cork during World War I, but it soon proved more useful as a lightweight construction material for gliders and shipping containers. Hobbyists also began to work with balsa wood because it could be carved easily with standard woodworking tools and bent into a number of shapes without sacrificing strength.

Balsa tree (Ochroma pyramidale, or O. lagopus) of the bombax family (Bombacaceae), native to tropical South America and noted for its extremely light wood, which resembles clear white pine or basswood. Because of its buoyancy (about twice that of cork), balsa has long been used for making floats for lifelines and life preservers. Its resilience makes it an excellent shock-absorbing packing material. Its insulating properties make it a good lining material for incubators, refrigerators, and cold-storage rooms. Because it combines lightness and high insulating power, it is a valuable construction material for transportation containers for dry ice (solidified carbon dioxide). It is also used in the construction of airplane passenger compartments and in model airplanes and boats.

The main farmers’ motivation to establish small balsa plantations (between 10 and 30 hectares) has been the demand by a local balsa handicrafts producer company that sells its products in the national and export market. On the other hand, the fast growth of the species allows obtaining economic benefits after approximately 4 – 5 years and also allows demonstrating its advantages to farmers, what is difficult to achieve in the case of species which require much longer time.

It is important to note that, to establish a plantation diminishing management costs the first year, farmers associate balsa with an agricultural crop (e.g. cassava, bananas, orito, and maize); they plant 625 to 830 balsa plants per hectare. An important point to consider is that the plantation has to be near a road, or by a road, since this would facilitate exploitation activities and diminishes the operation’s costs, increasing in this way economic benefits.

The opportunity to supply the demand of a local market and the of crop’s quickness of returns are the features that make this case relevant. This is a practice that contributes to the development of a forestry culture with small initiatives such as those detailed in the case study.

It is very profitable business because the tree is grows very fast, only 3 years old to maximum of 4 years old to be cut.

This year (2011) the domestic demand from balsa factories in Ecuador are very high, so the thousands of acres planted cannot fill with the high demand from USA and China in particular. Of course the prices here have risen from $ 0.30 per bd.ft. as a balsa raw material but not dried or processed, up to $ 0.55 per bd.ft.: If before planting balsa trees was a good business, today is one of the best and fastest ways to make money with short-term forestry.

With the explosion of nuclear reactors in Japan, tendency will be for renewable energy and one of the most popular is eolic energy is applied, which are wind vanes fillings made ​​of balsa, so expect a very large demand for this wood, where our country is world leader in quality, productivity, history and extraction techniques.

Jean Marie

See a report on Jean Marie’s last Ecuador agricultural tour here.

Jean Marie Butterlin has created a new agricultural property Expedition March 26-27-28, 2012.  This is for those of you who have asked to look at property for its potential in this field.

The Agri Business Expedition fee is $1,990/single $2,990 couple.

Ecuador Agricultural Expedition

Ecuador Agricultural Property Expedition by Jean Marie Butterlin.

May 14-15-16, 2012

Sept 17-18-19, 2012

Ecuador-ag-land

See Ecuador agricultural property by four wheel drive.

Merri’s and my first property purchase many years ago was agricultural land… over 900 acres… formerly in sugar cane, citrus, pineapples and avocados… the top soil deep and rich.

ecuador-farm-land

Here is a photo of Merri feeding one of our horses.  We still have that hacienda land, Rosaspamba, (the place of the roses).

Plus we have added more agricultural land… and are looking to add more.

An excerpt from a recent message entitled Beating & Benefiting From the Economic Crash explains why: In the seven years before its peak in July 2006, the US home-price index surged 155 percent. Since then, it’s fallen 33 percent.

This creates a huge opportunity. Economic history since before WWI suggests that we’ll see the final crunch of this 15 year bear in 2011 and perhaps 2012.  Then the light at the end of the tunnel will appear… slowly at first but picking up a head of steam aiming for the next bubble of something like 2030.

The way to beat this crunch is to set your affairs so you do not lose during the next crunch and have liquidity to take advantage of the low prices and high value the crunch could bring.

There are numbers of reasonably safe pockets of opportunity.  For example inflation during these difficult economic times has helped profits on agricultural property.

Excerpts from a May 31, 2011 article “Farm boom missing Main Street” by By John Gaps III, of The Des Moines Register show what I mean:  GUTHRIE CENTER, Iowa – Fifteen miles northeast of here, a quarter of a square-mile of farmland sold for $1.3 million this spring.

Farmers can lock in about $6.73 a bushel on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange for corn they will deliver to market in December, nearly twice the price a year ago.

The sustained surge in corn prices has driven the average value of an acre of Iowa farmland to $5,708, according to a March survey by the Realtors Land Institute. That’s up 19.7% from the previous six months and up from $1,865 in March 2001, according to the Institute’s Troy Louwagie. The land northeast of Guthrie Center— where fields are flat and the soil is black — sold for $8,600 per acre, according to the county assessor.

“The rural economy is very good right now despite signs of a peaking commodities market and concerns about drought creeping north from Texas, flooding along the Mississippi River, and rain-delayed corn planting in Illinois, Indiana and Ohio. American farmers who grow everything from rice to sugar beets have enjoyed a year of historically high prices, said Don Roose, a trader at U.S. Commodities in West Des Moines.

It’s not just towns surrounded by crop farming that have declined amid high commodity prices.

In heavily forested west central Alabama, the town of York has suffered as the timber industry has consolidated, said Auburn sociology professor Conner Bailey, president-elect of the Rural Sociological Association.

That’s despite steadily climbing timber prices since the middle of 2009 on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

This is why in the last several years I have been writing about and adding agricultural real estate to my portfolio.

There are few places with as much agricultural potential and diversity as Ecuador. It is not surprising that many readers ask us about Ecuador farmland or agricultural property there.

Our first reply to anyone asking is… agricultural land is hard to find and get it!   Finding our hacienda took us well over a year of dedicated search.  Searching for good farmland is not like viewing a batch of properties in a town or village.  First, it often takes hours just to get to the land.  Secondly, it almost always takes hours inspecting the land.  You do not do quick walk throughs on  100 or more hectares.  One is lucky to be able to see one property a day unless you can be really very organized.

Then once you find something that looks good… the hard part begins.  Of course there is always the price!

Then there is the research.  One seemingly great property we looked at “had great water rights”  we were told.  “Then why does it have cisterns all over the place?”  we asked ourselves.  A deep check of the deeds and talking with neighbors unveiled the fact that what’s on paper does not always match precedent and reality.  There were water rights on paper, yes, but they were disputed by numerous neighbors who had for years continually cut the water lines every time the current owner installed them.  It was just pure luck that we were suspicious and turned down this property, which still has not sold.

Buying agricultural property is not like buying urban property from a title point of view.  There are no rural land registers, so deeds have to be carefully researched by an attorney.

Finally if you buy it… what’s next?   Who do you hire. What do you grow… who buys the crops?

Yet because there has been such interest, I challenged Jean Marie Butterlin to create an Ecuador Agricultural tour.   He has been working hard at this for over 6 months, and I am proud to announce that he has set up an excellent program for those who are really interested in farming in Ecuador.

Here is what Jean Marie has explained about the Ecuador real estate tours he has created and conducted.

When I was 40 years old and told my friends that I would retire at 50, they were laughing.  They are not laughing anymore!

My name is Jean Marie Butterlin and I live on one of the nicest, most affordable coasts of all South America with my wife Pascale and although I consider myself retired, I still like to work… but only at what I really like.

How did I achieve that ?

I had a plan.

Part of that plan was to move to a nice area where it was less expensive to live and much less stressful than Europe.   I found that place after traveling and inspecting most South American countries.  We chose Ecuador and more specifically Bahia as our home.

We live now as well on $2,000 a month in Bahia than we did in Europe on $10,000 a month.

When you are planning to retire and live the good life, you should look at both parts of the equation, expenses and what you can earn.I have been able to lower my expenses considerably by living in Bahia.  We live in front of the Malecon enjoying the sun 320 days per year.

But the key to retirement is really in the INCOME part of the equation.   How can you generate income without working too hard?

The answer is to have an “outside the box”  plan.  If you do what everybody else does, chances are you’ll earn what everyone else does.

A lot of younger clients on our real estate tours ask  “How can  I generate a little income in Ecuador”?  They say they would move down immediately if they could. This started me thinking  about how to show a few select clients a chance to be part of that world of retirees in Ecuador who work only at what they like.

I have put together a special plan for those seeking to move and earn in Ecuador now!

Here is the plan and here are the facts:

* Every economist is currently saying that agriculture will be the next place to invest because :

  • God is not making more arable land.
  • The world is running out of food.  China has been buying and leasing arable land all over Africa and in South America for example.  A lot of the smart money is going into arable all over the continent.

* Ecuador has some of the cheapest yet best agricultural land in all of South America.  The climate is best for growing as well with 365 days a year of direct sunlight.  In many parts of Ecuador, farmers can get 3 and even 4 harvests per year, depending on the water available on the property.

* However, most Ecuadorian farmers have not yet learned how to produce and manage a farm. They are lacking higher education and management skills as well as equipment.  Some Ecuador farmers still plow with oxen.

*  Many Ecuadorian farmers do not know how to sell and do not treat the farm as a real business.

There is a great opportunity that lies in this combination of cheap, arable land, the geographical place of Ecuador on the equator and lack of good agronomical skills.

Here is the chance to attend the first agri business expedition, planned for October 17, 18 and 19.

This is a tour for those who want to have an active agricultural business in Ecuador and have $100,000 minimum to invest.

This tour will be conducted over three long, jam packed days to provide you a low cost efficient way to inspect Ecuador agricultural property that is legitimately for sale at a reasonable price.

Day 1 – 9 am to 6 pm: Detailed presentations by agri engineers and specialists of several type of agri businesses. These presentations  include costs, types of soils for each type of crop, risk analysis, potential profits, timing, where to find the buyers of crops,  introduction to buyers  looking for specific crops.

On the tour we look “outside the box” at crops that can for example produce “biofuel”. We’ll look at land where one company in Manta will buy every available crop at market price.   We know the owners of that company and you will be introduced to them.

Day 2: Visits farms for sale.  Here is one farm we inspected on our first tour.  This agri property has 203 hectares (507 acres) divided into:

28 hectares (70 cares) of balsa trees.  In 5 years these will fetch $30,000 a hectare.

30 hectares (75 acres) of African palm trees in production (the nuts fetch $250 per ton).

Ecuador-agricultural-land

– 140 hectares (350 acres) of pasture sufficient for 200 head of cattle or other crops that can produce an excellent return.

Ecuador-agricultural-land

– 3 small

Ecuador-agricultural-land

and one large river along the property with water availability.

Ecuador-agricultural-land

– Close to the main road

Ecuador-agricultural-land

– $6600/hectare ($2,640 an acre) asking including a small casita for caretakers.

Day 3: Q&A’s with the agri specialists…with round table discussions. We break into small groups to discuss in more details each business its costs and potential profits.

We have inspected and investigated all properties prior paying special attention to three special issues:

* water on site
* access roads
* good port close

We only show land that has water in Manabi province near Manta the second largest port in Ecuador.

We have investigated electricity, pricing and title plus will have speakers during breakfast and dinners who will discuss these  issues and the legal matters pertaining to agri businesses in Ecuador.

These experts will be available for consulting during the tour and later… covering technical matters on which crops are best suited for each soil and what times of the year are best for planting and harvest.  The tour pays special attention to reviewing the marketing aspect of each crop and where to find buyers.

We use our contacts with local people were born in the area… who know the land owners… who know what the “market” price should be and we do not show farmland where the seller is asking an unrealistic price or if there are any doubts about ownership or clear title.

We also provide administration, accounting and legal consultants who will answer questions about owning and running a company in Ecuador, a civil code country and very different from the US and Canada which run on common law.

Included in the tour fee:

*  Agri engineers who can help you start your business, provide services and the follow up.

* Legal experts in incorporation, administration accounting etc..

* Experts in marketing agricultural crops.

Although we do not advise being absentee owner, we can provide all the services needed to run the business with our agricultural team.

If your agricultural knowledge is limited, we have the experts who will help you through the learning curve.

The big Question is “How much can someone make in agri business in Ecuador?”

The Answer:  We will not show any businesses that do not produce on a regular basis at least 10% net return. Many agri businesses you will see can pay off land costs within 1 to 2 years.

The Agri Business Expedition fee is $1,990/single $2,990 couple.

For efficiency and logistics, this tour is strictly limited to 16 people… 4 persons per four wheel drive vehicle.

Jean Marie

Ecuador has many Agricultural Advantages and we have been recommending the idea of investing in Ecuador agriculture for years.

Here is an excerpt from an April 10, 2007 message  at this site entitled “Ecuador Agriculture”: Ecuador agriculture can offer a better lifestyle and opportunity as good prices rise. Sometimes we forget the importance of life’s basics…such as food. Until those basics cost more.

Ecuador agriculture is important because Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal included an article that began: “Prices of farm goods are climbing – in part because of demand for crop-based fuels – pushing up food prices around the world and creating a new source of inflationary pressure. The rise in food prices is already causing distress among consumers in some parts of the world — especially relatively poor nations like India and China. If the trend gathers momentum, it could contribute to slower global growth by forcing consumers to spend less on other items or spurring central banks to fight inflation by raising interest rates.”

This is one of the wonderful benefits of Ecuador agriculture, the extreme supply of excellent but low cost food.

Ecuador is a Garden of Eden and here is a fact you probably did not know. The inhabitants of this region developed more than half the agricultural products that the world eats today. Among these are more than many varieties of corn and potato. These foods also include squash, beans, peppers, peanuts, popcorn, yucca and quinoa.

They even learned to use freezing night temperatures and warm days to freeze dry potatoes and create potato flour.

At the market, three blocks from our hotel where we shop.  Open air restaurants in the front of the market offer excellent meals, vegetarian, or chicken, steak, fish or pork for about $1.

There are numbers of  fresh picked vegetables offered by happy friendly people.

And every type of fruit you can imagine, from pineapple to coconut, papaya, mango, apples, pears, bananas, berries and numerous other tropical fruits all at bargains prices by Western standards and ripe all year round.

Many exotic spices at a 1/20th the cost in the US or Canada. This makes life especially wonderful and inexpensive.

This creates opportunity as well.

Ecuador’s geographical location gives it a distinct advantage in agricultural production. Its exports include asparagus, bananas, broccoli, cocoa, coffee, flowers, hearts of palm, lentils, papaya, passion fruit, pineapple, plantain, mango, red beans, and tomatoes. Ecuador has mainly an agricultural economy, though oil is its largest source of revenue, and industry has expanded. Agriculture employs 32 percent of the workforce. 6.4 million acres is used in agriculture. Permanent pasture covers 17 percent of the total area and forests nearly 43 percent. In the highlands subsistence agriculture and the production of staples for the urban areas are predominant (corn, wheat, barley, potatoes, pulses, and various vegetables). In the coastal lowlands tropical crops are grown to export. Ecuador is the largest exporter of bananas in the world and among the largest exporters of shrimp and roses.

Merri and I have been recommending Ecuador for almost 15 years…we have been recommending investing in agricultural property for even longer. Agricultural property in Ecuador makes excellent sense for those who like both ideas.  We are very pleased that Jean Marie has created this excellent tour.  We are happy to share this opportunity with you.

Gary

Tour price includes local transportation to the farms but does not include domestic airfare from Quito to Manta and lodging.  Meals are NOT included.

The Agri Business Expedition fee is $1,990/single $2,990 couple.

For efficiency and logistics this tour is strictly limited to 16 people… 4 persons per four wheel drive vehicle.

Who Will Benefit From This Tour

Attendees on this tour will range from those who want their own sustainable organic farm like Neverlands Farm in Loja to those who want a small agricultural property to enhance existing income… to those who want to run medium and larger agri businesses.

Small – Organic  – Sustainable

Neverland Organic Farms is a great case study of people creating an isolated sustainable organic farm

ecuador-organic-farm

See about the organic farm here

Income Supplement – Beautiful Way of Life

A good case study for those looking for a way of life and income supplement is this  six acre organic tomato farm that delegates on on a real estate tour visited.   This shows a perfect little Ecuador retirement operation, so where should we start?

I think it is with the guinea pigs…

ecuador-retirement

The farm has many of them in these cages.

ecuador-retirement

Clover on the farm feeds them.  Their manure helps organically fertilize the corn.

ecuador-retirement

The corn husks are mixed with manure to be used as fertilizer and the corn feeds the…

ecuador-retirement

pigeons…

ecuador-retirement

chickens and…

ecuador-retirement

pigs.

ecuador-retirement

All of these animals create more organic fertilizer that this farmer uses to grow tomatoes.

ecuador-retirement

Here is the Ecuador organic farmer with our driver Jorge, Alberto Verdezoto and Peggy Carper.

Tomatoes grow quickly here it seems.  These newly planted organic tomatoes will be ready in three weeks. I find this hard to believe but this is what the farmer said.  Though my Spanish has been known to miss on occasion.

ecuador-retirement

These will look like…

ecuador-retirement

this and…

ecuador-retirement

provide

ecuador-retirement

income that…

ecuador-retirement

would provide a nice retirement income… $25,000 a year we are told.

Other benefits include farm fresh eggs.

ecuador-retirement

Trout are in the ponds next to the pigeon coops.

ecuador-retirement

A good case study for a specific and large Ecuador agri operation is the farming operation set up by Young Living Essential oils.

ecuador-farms

After creating a marketing system for the oils and farming in the USA, Gary and his wife…

ecuador-farms

moved to Ecuador… began a large farming operation as well as…

ecuador-farms

there own processing and a health spa.

Ecuador is a perfect place for many types of agriculture… large and small.  Find your farm in the safe and efficient way on an Ecuador Agricultural Tour.

Included in the price is all transportation from the hotel to the farms.  Airfares to, from and within Ecuador, hotels and meals are NOT included.

The Agri Business Expedition fee is $1,990/single $2,990 couple.

For efficiency and logistics this tour is strictly limited to 16 people… 4 persons per four wheel drive vehicle.

Learn about the Ecuador Farm Management Program here.

Read Farmgrab.org article here

 

 



Free Newsletter on Ecuador

Free newsletter with updates on Ecuador and global opportunities to improve and enjoy your health, wealth, and life. I value your privacy. Period.



Related Artices

If you enjoyed this article "Hedge Fund Invests in Agriculture" you may find these related articles of interest too: