Light Investment – Heavy Profit

Here is a multi dimensional investment in Ecuador.

Messages at our websites site have recommended investing in agriculture in Ecuador and the US since the 1990s and even earlier in our print newsletters.


The Salazar farm.

Jean Marie Butterlin who is conducting  Ecuador Farm tours sent me this note.

This farm is on Ecuador’s coast.


Gary ,the Salazar Farm is for sale and we’ll view this on our next tour.


This farm has 70 hectares (appx. 168 acres), located on the coast in Jama.  This land is good for farming just about everything.


The asking price is $2500 per hectare!


That works out to about only $1,000 an acre.T


Excepts from an article at 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 whatgets you up in the morning.”

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.

“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.

This is why we have been promoting Ecuador farm tours conducted by our friend, Jean Marie Butterlin, and have added agricultural opportunities in Argentina and Uruguay.


Ecuador farmland.

One good crop is Balsawood


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 of the 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.

Balsa farming can be very profitable because the balsa tree is fast growing, only 3 years old to maximum of 4 years old to be cut.

Demand from balsa factories in Ecuador is very high, so the thousand of acres planted cannot fill the high demand from USA and China in particular.   Prices here have risen almost 100%.  If  planting balsa trees was a good business in the past, today is one of the best and fastest ways to make money with short-term forestry.

Investing in agriculture in Ecuador, South America and the US makes sense.

We have scheduled Super Thinking + Spanish courses in Uruguay and our good friend from Europe, Jean Marie has Ecuador Farm tours…thus allowing on one trip to learn to speak Spanish… learn about Uruguay and Argentina farm investments plus take an Ecuador coastal farm tour.

Super Spanish in Montevideo Uruguay February 7-8-9, 2013

Meet Steve Rosberg and learn about Uruguay farm investments at the Super Spanish course.

Learn more about Uruguay and then fly onto Ecuador for…

The Ecuador coastal farm tour February 18-19-20, 2013.

Ecuador Agricultural Real Estate Tour

For current Ecuador Agricultural Real Estate information send me a note at

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Ecuador coffee farm entrance.

The original owner spent two years searching for the perfect location to duplicate the exact terrain, altitude and growing conditions of the most successful coffee farms of Boquete, Panama and Columbia.

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Terrain and coffee plants.

After walking with an altimeter in hand and talking to reclusive indigenous farmers, this region was discovered with all the perfect conditions to cultivate exceptional Arabica coffee trees.

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Owners house with roof terrace.

This is a micro climate, blessed with abundant rainfall, in clean mountain air, bounded by a clear trout filled year around rushing river, protected from extremes of wind and large temperature fluctuations,  perfect for growing coffee.

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Open drying patio.

It has 11 hectares planted (manageable for a single owner), with approximately 50,000 Arabica, varietal Caturra (self pollinating) coffee trees which  are perfectly distributed over a hillside interspersed with a variety of fruit trees for shade.

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Oranges grown to protect coffee trees.

No problem selling this crop for top dollar due to its proven high quality.  The coffee sales last year grossed $70,000 so after $25,000 expenses, $45,000 was the net income.

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Coffee beans.

As well, an experimental 1 hectare of Geisha varietal.  Geisha is considered to be one of the finest coffees in the world and garnered the highest auction record in coffee history, fetching $170 per pound in 2010.  The first harvest of this varietal is expected in about 2 years.

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Coffee plants grown in greenhouse on farm.

This Andean  location provides an ideal environment for coffee growing without damaging the unique habitat of many species of birds.   Arabica coffee trees are a major source of oxygen production.  Each hectare produces 86 pounds of oxygen per day which is 50% of rain forest habitat.  Ecuador is a biologically diverse country with an abundance of birds, amphibians, reptiles and butterflies.  Inca Mountain Coffee Farm is ecologically in harmony with its environment.

The Arabica coffee trees are 6 years old, providing remarkable yields, allowing for continuous flowering and two annual harvests (major harvest Feb-Jun and minor harvest Oct-Nov).

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Covered drying patio.

In the yearly Golden Cup competition, coffee from this farm was a finalist in 2011.

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Seasonal worker harvesting coffee.

Owner’s house – 900 sq/ft, 2 bed, 1 bath, with lots of marble, built in cabinets in both bedrooms and upper roof porch

Caretaker’s house – divided into multiple rooms with bathroom

Land line phone installed and operational

110 and 220 volt electric lines

Equipment:  2 coffee bean pulpers with 2 water tanks, 2 weed whackers, misc. tools, scale for weighing coffee bags

1 large uncovered drying patio and 1 covered drying patio

2 full time highly experienced workers – monthly payroll is $650 (plus more during harvest for seasonal workers)

Average yearly expenses:  $25,000 (all payroll, fertilizer, harvesting expenses, utilities, taxes)

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This clean mountain river that runs year around with trout.  Also, access to mountain water for farm irrigation, though it is rarely needed.

Farm is fenced along road.

You can set the date for your own tour.

The Ecuador farm tour fee is $799 for single or  $999 couple.

Case Study #3:   This third case study shows an American who has created a   large Ecuador agri operation. This is the farming operation set up by Young Living Essential oils.


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


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


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.

For efficiency and logistics this tour is strictly limited to 15 people… 4 persons per four wheel drive vehicle.

You can set the date for your own tour.

The Ecuador farm tour fee is $799 for single or  $999 couple.


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