Tag Archive | "agriculture"

13 Reasons for a Farm


See 13 and more reasons to invest in a multi dimensional farm below.

Does this look like a high tech internet marketing genius?  He is… our webmaster David Cross working on his farm. He is multi dimensional!

He just created a new website that readers can enjoy called watertheroots.com.

David Cross

Click on photo to enlarge.  To read David’s Watertheroots.com site, click here

More and more people are creating multi dimensional lifestyles that include farming.  They earn income in two ways… one is the production of food.  The purchasing power of money may disappear.  Eating will always remain in demand.

Merri and I are publishers but also have two income producing farms.  David, as you can see at Watertheroots, is a website specialist…. but has his farm.

Another friend has now jumped on the multi dimensional bandwagon.  Merri and I spent our weekend with friends, Mark and Vanessa Owens, from Naples, Florida.  Mark has been a real estate broker and very successful general contractor but has now leased an 11 acre farm where he is growing organic crops to sell in health food stores and organic markets.

Having a multi dimensional life in Smalltown USA makes sense now.

Excepts from a recent USA Today article entitled “Wealth rises in USA’s heartland” written by Dennis Cauchon shows why.

The article (bolds are mine) says: Personal income in the USA’s metro regions and counties and the percentage change from 2007, before the recession and financial crisis.

Small-town America is better off: Inflation-adjusted income is up 3.8% per person since 2007.

The nation’s oil and gas boom is driving up income so fast in a few hundred small towns and rural areas that it’s shifting prosperity to the nation’s heartland, a USA TODAY analysis of government data shows.

The 261 million people who live in cities and suburbs still haven’t recovered earning power lost in the economic downturn. Average income per person fell 3.5% in metropolitan areas between 2007 and 2011 after adjusting for inflation, according to data released Monday by the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis.

By contrast, small-town America is better off than before: Inflation-adjusted income is up 3.8% per person since 2007 for the 51 million in small cities, towns and rural areas.

The energy boom and strong farm prices have reversed, at least temporarily, a long-term trend of money flowing to cities.  Last year, small places saw a 3% growth in income per person vs. 1.8% in urban areas.

Small-town prosperity is most noticeable in North Dakota, now the nation’s No. 2 oil-producing state. Six of the top 10 counties are above the state’s Bakken oil field.  “Give us a little shale, and we’ll show some pretty good income growth, too,” says Bill Connors, president of the Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce in neighboring Idaho.

The Boise area’s rank in income per person plummeted from 139th to 251st among metro areas from 2007 to 2011, the biggest drop of any place except Las Vegas, which suffered largely because of high-tech layoffs and a real estate price collapse.

The famous adage of “follow the money” makes sense and in this series we’ll see numerous reasons beyond farming and shale why the money is shifting to Smalltown USA.

Those looking to move their next life’s adventure abroad will find sense in farming as well.

Jean Marie Butterlin who conducts Ecuador farm tours sent this note:

Why an agriculture investment in Ecuador makes a lot of sense NOW!

We have been writing a lot about Ecuador agriculture investing in the last 2 years when not a lot of people were talking about that type of investment;

In the last few months a lot of what we said then, has even become more relevant :

Here are 13 reasons why :

1- GMO is a failure: even the Big Chemical Companies’ specialists agree, that the GMO promises that were made in early 2000 have lead to some serious disasters esp. in India where yields have come down drastically and the use of herbicide is now higher than with the non GMO crops.

2- We have talked at length about inexpensive arable land in Ecuador. One new factor in Ecuador is the recognition by some local investors that putting their money in good land is a logical decision. About half of the land that we had for sale a year ago has been sold to Ecuadorians; this alone shows that Ecuador land is a good value.

3- World population is growing even faster than before and food supply is limited. Food prices have gone steadily in the last 2 years. Diversification is growing and a lot of arable land disappears every year from the planet.

4- There are only 3 criteria when investing in agriculture, water, water and water.  This is the reason that we have only been offering land with sufficient water availability all year round.

5 – Ecuador has good and cheap labor: although we have seen some wage increases Ecuador still has a large untapped pool of good and inexpensive labor.

6 – Ecuador has improved infrastructure in the last 2 years: the roads in Manabi for example are much better and it is much easier to get to the Manta port.

7 – The local domestic market: Ecuador still is in need for more supply of locally grown crops like plantain which yield all year long very nice profits.

8 – Ecuador due to its special location on the Equator line has a nice climate and can produce up to 4 harvests per year.

9 – There are lots of crops that are difficult to grow elsewhere and yet grow easily in Ecuador, which means less competition and better prices.

10 – Land prices are rising now but are still cheaper than in Chile, Uruguay or Brazil.

11 – Chinese are buying everywhere around Ecuador; one day they will discover it too.

12 –  Climate changes have wrought havoc in some countries and have brought a lot of crop destruction and/or lower yields.

13 – In 5 years I predict the good agriculture investment opportunities in Ecuador will be gone.

We have seen more and more people coming down to Ecuador asking us to find them smaller farms where they could be self sustainable and make a good living at the same time.

That is why we are offering  our Small farm tour  which includes 2 days of farm showing and one day of real estate in the Bahia area.

Space is limited and the number of farms available are limited also. Good small farms with water, close to cities, are hard to find.

Prosper in Change

In the complicated, rapidly changing global economy it often seems hard to know what to do next.   The more complicated the problem, the more simplicity is required.

The simplest law of commerce is that everyone must eat!

A growing global population creates increased demand.  The supply of land and water is finite so the cost of food is likely to rise.  This formula suggests that multi dimensional earning that includes agriculture and makes great sense now.

Gary

Here is a way to look at Ecuador farm property.

ecuador-agriculture-tour

Imagine having a multi dimensional opportunity like this.

There are opportunities to own an Ecuador farm with a combination of beach front and agriculture.

ecuador-agriculture-tour

Delegates visiting Ecuador farm on beachfront with multi dimensional opportunity.

Learn about Ecuador farm tours here.

Farm and write to sell as Merri and I and our webmaster do.

Seven P Secrets of Self Publishing

When you write, you can work anywhere.   Here I am working poolside in the winter, at our Florida farm.

gary scott

Here I am with our hound Ma, working during the summer at our North Carolina farm.

Learn how to earn everywhere, while living anywhere you choose.  I have been able to earn by writing in Hong Kong, England, the Isle of Man, Dominican republic and Ecuador to name a few of the place I have lived.  Everywhere I have been… too numerous to share here, I have been able to work.  All I need is my laptop.

A pencil and pad even did the job before.  Freedom is just one benefit that you can gain from writing.

Another is income.   Writing has brought me both farms, free and clear… plus a lot more.

Another good example is my friend Hugh Howey.  He was working for $10 an hour in a book store when he self published his novel Wool, typing in a storage room during his lunch breaks.  Soon he was earning over $100,000 a month on Amazon.com.  This helped secure a six-figure book deal from Simon & Schuster, and an option for film by Ridley Scott, director of Blade Runner and Alien.

Hugh Howey

Sometimes Hugh and I get together at my  farm and play chess (he beats me badly).

Writers like High are great inspirations.

A couple of years ago Hugh  left Florida, and moved to South Africa.  He had a sailing catamaran built for him and now can sail the world while he continues to write.

Hugh explained it like this: And that’s the miracle of working as a writer: I can do it from anywhere and everywhere. The past few years, I’ve done a lot of writing from airplanes and airports while on business trips abroad.  SAND was entirely written overseas while traveling through seven different countries; I think it’s a better story because of those inspirations. In upcoming years, I may be writing near your home port.

Hugh’s a super star writer and his success could not happen to a more deserving and talented person.  He pours enormous energy into being worthy of his readership.  But you do not have to be a million dollar a year earner or a traveler to benefit from writing.

The good news is… you do not need a huge success to have a rich and fulfilled lifestyle.  Self Publishing can bring you a life that most people only dream of, as a journeyman writer, instead of a super star.

May I hastily add that the path to stardom begins as a journeyman… so the journeyman’s path brings success without stardom… but can also lead to stardom.

What most success stories like Hugh’s rarely explain is the many hours of writing that was devoted before their self published book sales soared.   Hugh, like me and most writers were journeymen first.  Stardom came later.

Here are sevens secrets that can help you become a journeyman writer. 

The secrets are a writer’s armory of tools that allows almost anyone to create successful publications for income, freedom and fulfillment.

Take Merri’s and my publishing business as an example.  

Merri and I are not writing stars.  We are journeymen who have for more than 40 years, year in and year out, earned solid income writing and self publishing dozens of publications about multiple subjects.

Some years that income has been more than solid… over a million dollars.  Yet in terms of stardom, we are hardly known.

In a moment you’ll see why that’s fine for us and probably will be for you too.

First some history.

Merri became involved in self publishing over 40 years ago… first helping a veterinarian publish a book on a very specific market… animal acupuncture. Then she showed a needle point artist how to sell more books to an even more specific audience… “needle point enthusiasts”  about her needle point work to an audience larger than the population of the city she lived in.  This led Merri to eventually become Executive Editor of an award winning magazine in Florida.

My story allowed Merri and me to work and live from Hong Kong to London to Europe to Eastern Europe, then the Caribbean and then Ecuador… making millions in the process of following our adventures… having fun… while helping a large readership adapt to a rapidly changing world.

That’s what self publishing can bring, profit, adventure and fulfillment, a great feeling of worth and wonder.

Self Publishing has created exactly the lifestyle we desire allowing us to span the world and work with meaning and purpose.

Self Publishing has become a new business art form. 

The seven secrets can help you start your own self publishing business now.

Everything in publishing is new and exciting and changing.  Publishing is being recreated by the wonderful power of destructive technology.

Everything is new… except the seven secrets. 

Change in the publishing industry is disturbing many.   We love this evolution due to these seven secrets we call the 7Ps.  The 7 Ps are so fundamental to writing and publishing that new technology enhances rather than reduces their power.

The First P is Passion.

Whatever your passion, you can immerse yourself in it AND create income with self publishing.  This can be your direct ticket to the kind of fulfillment you’ve always wanted.

Whether you want to travel the world or live as a recluse, work 12 hours a day or not work much at all,  you can set your schedule to succeed, if you’re willing to learn these seven secrets.

You can start part-time with any dream, passion, and budget.  Once you’ve created a product, you’ll enjoy the “multiple effect” of producing profits over and over again.

So the question is… What do you love to do?

What’s Your Passion:  An example is that thirty years ago, a client of Merri’s had a passion to help people who were in pain?  He published a series of pamphlets explaining various chiropractic disorders in very simple terms.  For example: “What Is Whiplash?”

The pamphlets contained solid information, but were simple 5″ x 7″ brochures with drawings and explanations. He sold them with a rack to chiropractors, who put them in their offices for patients to read.  These little self-published items sold year in and year out for decades.

There are thousands of ideas of this sort that can lead to big business.  It’s just a matter of defining and then acting on your passion.

Although I can work when I please and go where I wish, for me the most important reason for being a publisher is the satisfaction it brings. 

I love the projects I take on, so work doesn’t feel like, well… work.

What do you love?  If you love golf, then you can write and sell publications about golf.  Love travel, fishing, dogs, dolls, or art?  Write and sell publications in these fields.

Are you concerned about crime, war, poverty or environmental issues?  You can publish information products that help reduce these concerns.

Would you like to help the world be a more spiritual place?  Publish a newsletter, write a book (or hire someone to write it for you), record a tape… publish something that enlightens people.

Whatever your passion, you can immerse yourself in it and earn income by publishing for ereaders, print on demand, CDs, lists, bound books, or any format you choose.

Be immersed in your passion and get paid well for it. 

This is why stardom is not the main goal for most writers and self publishers.  Extra income, more freedom and fulfillment are usually more than enough enough.

The seven Ps are:

#1: Passion

#2: Problem

#3: Person

#4: Profitably Priced Product

#5: Prospecting Pathway

#6: Promise

#7: Presentation

The first time I exposed others to the secrets in Self Publishing was in a weekend “Writer’s Camp” seminar.  We offered the camp for $1,500. 80 delegates enrolled.  People from all walks of life attended—chiropractors, businessmen, investors, doctors, realtors, inventors, airline pilots, engineers, and housewives.

Merri and I were so overwhelmed by the response, we decided to make it available to a larger audience.  We created a written course based on our current self publishing activity called “Self Fulfilled – How to be a Self Publisher.”  Then we recorded the weekend “Writer’s Camp” seminar.

Thousands have used the course as it has evolved over the decades.

You can receive both the written course and the recorded weekend seminar, in an MP3 file, in a special “Live Well and Free Anywhere” program I am making available to you.  The normal fee is $299 for the written course and $299 for the recorded workshop.   I’ll send you both the course and the recorded workshop and my course “International Business Made EZ (also $299) all for $299.  You save $598.

We are so confident that you’ll gain from this offer that if you are not fully satisfied, simply email us within 60 days for a full refund .

These courses are not theoretical.  They describe, step-by-step, how Merri and I built a million-dollar international business and how we are running this self publishing business right now.   We use the 7Ps today just as we did four decades ago to create a strong annual income.

This correspondence course is for those who would like their own international self publishing micro business for fun and profit. If you want fun, freedom, extra income and fulfillment with your own full or part time writing or want to build your existing business, by writing to sell you can profit from this course.  The course can help who want their own business or who want to have a business together or a family business.  This is the perfect course for those who can no longer find employment, who are looking for ways to earn abroad and who wish to retire and supplement their income.

Whether you are retired, an investor, chiropractor, doctor, dentist, professional or already own your own business, this offers another way to make money, to turn your passion into profit. We guarantee that we have shared all we know to help you start and run your own international business.  Enjoy and live a life of following your Passion to Profit… through writing.

Here is a special offer. 

We provide two emailed courses  “Self Fulfilled – How to Write to Sell and be a Self Publisher” and “International Business Made EZ”.

We include the “Self Fulfilled Writing and Self Publishing Course” because there are two reasons to write, when you have something to say or when you have something to sell.  In this day and age many of us want to do both, make a statement that makes the world a better place and earn something extra in the process. 

Whatever your passion, however you do business, chances are you’ll be writing either to create a product or to sell a product. 

You save more than $598 because you also receive a recorded webinar conducted by our webmaster David Cross (at no extra cost).

David-cross-images tags:"2012-4-20"

David Cross

David has been our webmaster since our website began in the 1990s.  He is Merri’s and my business partner. We could not run our business as we do without him.

Learn the tactics we use in our web business that condenses 27 years of practical experience about search engine optimization, and writing for search engines.

For the last 27 years David has worked with companies large and small – IBM, Agora Publishing, AstraZeneca and many small business owners.  He has worked in 22 countries, and lived in six of them.

David’s clients span the globe and represent companies and charities both large and small.  From corporate giants to small, one-woman businesses and everything from finance, healthcare, publishing, technology, real estate, veterinarians, alternative health centers and everything in between.

David is an essential part of our web based business.

Myles Norin, CEO of Agora, Inc.  wrote:  “I have found David’s knowledge and experience unmatched in the industry.  Without David’s expertise and guidance for the past 7 years, we would not be nearly as successful as we are.”

As Senior Internet Consultant to Agora Inc. in Baltimore, MD, he worked closely with Agora’s publishers and marketers and – over a 7-year period – helped to propel Agora’s online revenues from around $20 million to well over $300 million.

David’s webinar will help you gain benefits in your micro business that large internet marketing companies use.  In this practical recorded workshop you will learn valuable skills to help your micro business.

There has never been a time when the opportunity for small businesses abroad has been so outstanding.  Expand your borders now!  Increase your economic security freedom, independence and success.

If you are not fully satisfied that this offers you enormous value simply email us for a full refund within 60 days.  You can keep all three courses as our thanks for giving our courses a try.

You also receive a report  “How to use Relaxed Concentration to Brainstorm Business Ideas” and a recorded workshop “How to Become and Remain Rich With Relaxed Concentration” at no additional cost.

Plus you get more in the program.

You receive the Report, “How to Finance a Small Business Overseas” (no extra fee).

Merri and I have always preferred to start our micro businesses  through cash flow.  However in the early the days of our business I found myself raising extra capital several times.  I have also helped numerous businesses raise money to get started.  This report shares several experiences to give a thumbnail sketch of how to raise money abroad.

In addition you receive regular writing and self publishing updates for a year.  Businesses usually need to evolve.  Merri and I continue to publish and have our independent businesses.  Some basics have remained for decades, but new strategies occur all the time throughout the year.  We’ll be sending along updates that share our most recent experiences as we learn and continue to grow our international micro business from Smalltown USA.

My special offer to you in this “Live Well and Free Anywhere Program”, is that you receive:

  • “International Business Made EZ” course
  • “Self Fulfilled – How to Write to Sell” course
  • Video Workshop by our webmaster David Cross,
  • The entire weekend “Writer’s Camp” in MP3,
  • The report “How to Raise Money Abroad”
  • Report and MP3 Workshop “How to Gain Added Success With Relaxed Concentration”
  • Any updates to any of the courses, workshops, reports or recordings for a year.

We are so confident that you’ll gain from this offer that if you are not fully satisfied, simply email us within 60 days for a full refund . 

To order International Business Made EZ and the entire “Live Well and Free Anywhere” program for $299.  Click Here.

See success stories from Self Publishers and a few who have attended the “Writer’s Camp” you can hear on MP3.

 

 

 

Ecuador Ag Potential


Here is another reason to look at Ecuador agricultural land.

Ecuador farms make sense.  Farm prices are rising around the world and many are no longer affordable in the USA and Canada.

A recent Wall Street Journal article points out that land prices in key U.S. farm states continued to soar.

Prices of nonirrigated farmland in a seven-state stretch of the Midwest and West rose 26%, compared with a year earlier according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City .

Some of the best corn-growing land in the U.S. is still selling for more than $10,000 an acre and drawing buyers to auctions, despite the drought that has stunted crops and created uncertainty about the coming harvest.

Farmland prices nationwide had already nearly doubled in the past five years, as high prices for corn and other crops pushed up farmers’ incomes and fueled competition with institutional investors in land auctions across the Farm Belt.
Ecuador farming ranges from big to small.

potato farmers

Potato farming family near Otavalo.

potato farmers

Dairy for organic cheese outside Cotacachi.

There is an unimaginable variety in Ecuador agriculture.

llama farmers

Llamas for wool.

Ecuador corn

Corn is everywhere… huge farms and small concerns like this family nearby.

There is almost every type of vegetable… nut and fruit.

ecuador fruit

Ecuador food market.

Amazing varieties of flowers.

ecuador-flowers

Ecuador tropical flowers.

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

production.

Yet Ecuador agricultural prices are still low… especially on the coast.  But don’t count on this lasting forever. The Chinese are on their way.

A February 1, 2012 Washington Post article entitled “China plants bitter seeds in South American farmland – Culture clash seen with wave of investments by Kelly Hearn says:  Few were surprised when Venezuela announced a deal with China last week to restore 1.4 million acres of unproductive farmland across the oil-rich but impoverished South American nation.

China increasingly is buying farmland and agricultural companies in South America to feed its ever-growing population, currently estimated to be 1.34 billion.
The most important aspect of China’s agricultural investment in Latin America is that “it is a part of the increasing physical footprint of the People’s Republic of China that is just beginning to occur,” said Evan Ellis, an assistant professor at National Defense University in Washington.

Central to China’s rising agricultural-industrial complex are soybeans from Brazil and Argentina, millions of tons of which the Chinese are importing to feed cows and pigs to meet a growing demand for meat.

From 2005 to 2011, China’s soybean demand nearly doubled to more than 70 million tons per year, while domestic production declined 10 percent to 14 million tons, according to SinoLatin Capital, a Shanghai-based investment firm focused on transactions between Latin America and China.

China is working to close that deficit by infusing cash into Latin American economies in exchange for allowing Chinese government-owned companies to set up shop and extract basic food goods:

• The Chongqing Grain Group has agreed to build an industrial complex for soybean processing in Brazil’s Bahia state, where it reportedly plans to invest up to $2.4 billion.

• The Hong Kong-based company Noble Group is steering $237 million to a similar project in Brazil’s Mato Grosso region.

• China’s Sanhe Hopeful Grain & Oil announced plans in April to put $7.5 billion into soybean processing facilities in the state of Goias in exchange for an annual supply of 6 million tons of the legumes from Brazil, a deal that reportedly includes building a railroad to move products out of the facility.

Mr. Ellis notes that the Chinese agricultural giant Helionjiang Beidahuang, the China National Agricultural Development Group Corp. and Chongqing Grain Group have made clear their intention to buy Brazilian land in coming years.

In Argentina last year, Beidahuang inked a deal with the provincial government of Rio Negro to help develop more than 800,000 acres of farmland and upgrade a port in exchange for soybean exports over the next 20 years.

New $799 Ecuador Coastal Farm and Home Tour

Jean Marie Butterlin began conducting four wheel drive agricultural tours last year.  Many readers wanted to attend this tour but also wanted to take real estate tours to see residential real estate.  So, Jean Marie came up with a great solution… any delegate on an ag expedition can attend a coastal real estate tour (normally $499) free.

Let me explain more about the agricultural expedition first then you can read about the coastal tours.

Here’s the note that Jean Marie recently sent re his tours.

Ecuador Agriculture Business Summary

A- Introduction :

We were all taught that Investing is all about relationship 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 ask 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 USD drops or goes up ?  (Ecuador 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.  Right now we are investing our money 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 i.e. agri-engineers, business management, sales and marketing, accounting, legal areas, but most importantly we have setup a network of locals in many parts of Manabi, whom we call « spotters », that help us find the available properties at the best possible price.  These spotters live within the community and know the history, owner of each property.   They help us to sort out the deed issues and we get the also all the info:   good, bad, i.e. 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.  More and more land is allocated to making biofuel, which is one of the areas we are working also in Manabi.

Ecuador has still 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.

B- 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  that work 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 Ecuadorians hold to 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 and mostly the famous « middlemen », that are 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 choose 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!

C – Cash Flow Management:

In our development strategy, we aim to maximize regular cash flow i.e. combining on specific one fram short cycle crops like plantain or passion fruit and longer cycle crops like balsawood or cacao. This enables 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.

D – Management Package:

We offer a management package that we provide to our clients, who know nothing about agri-business.  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.

E – 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 being the ability to monetize the « organic » side of the business.

•Help the local economy and local communities in Ecuador.

F – FAQ:

Why are not more people investing in Ecuador agriculture ?

a) Ecuadorian campesinos are not business people.  They are not entrepreneurs as they often lack basic skills outside their trade and they do not have easy access to cheap crédit 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 Ecaudor 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 are you providing?

We provide the following services:

– 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.

Jean Marie

Ecuador Agricultural Real Estate Tour

For current Ecuador Agricultural Real Estate information send me a note at gary@garyascott.com

Screen shot 2012-07-25 at 12.29.30 PM

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.

Screen shot 2012-07-25 at 12.28.53 PM

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.

Screen shot 2012-07-25 at 12.30.49 PM

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.

Screen shot 2012-07-25 at 12.30.35 PM

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.

Screen shot 2012-07-25 at 12.30.24 PM

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.

Screen shot 2012-07-25 at 12.29.47 PM

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.

Screen shot 2012-07-25 at 12.30.11 PM

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).

Screen shot 2012-07-25 at 12.30.00 PM

Covered drying patio.

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

Screen shot 2012-07-25 at 12.31.12 PM

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)

Screen shot 2012-07-25 at 12.31.01 PM

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.

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.

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.

 

“China plants bitter seeds in South American farmland

Bahia Shrimp Contacts


Our Bahia shrimp contacts could create a good investment and even better lifestyle for you.

Where today does one invest?  Our advice remains in good value and essentials… water, food, energy and agriculture.

This makes good value agricultural land in Ecuador especially attractive… especially for those who would like a farming lifestyle to lower stress.

A Washington Post article by Juliet Eilperin entitled World’s Fish Supply Running Out, Researchers Warn sums up the problem. Here is an excerpt:  An international group of ecologists and economists warned yesterday that the world will run out of seafood by 2048 if steep declines in marine species continue at current rates, based on a four-year study of catch data and the effects of fisheries collapses.

This especially applies to shrimp and the void created requires shrimp farms to fill the gap.  Americans have an insatiable craving for shrimp, eating about 1.8 kilograms a year each.  Shrimp is the most consumed seafood in America. People eat more shrimp even than canned tuna! Wild Gulf of Mexico shrimp provided about 7% to 9% of that supply, the oil spill hurt even this small percentage.

Ecuador is the only country among the top shrimp exporters to the United States that is outside Asia.

These Ecuador shrimp are large enough that two provide a meal!

Ecuador-shrimp 4

The Humboldt Current creates one of the world’s most productive nutrient-rich waters that rise along the coast. This is a perfect condition for abundant plankton which leads to an eco region that teems with huge schools of small fish like anchovies and sardines.

The cool waters of the Humboldt Current provide a constant supply of food for big fish such as Dorado (coryphaena hippurus – also called dolphinfish), barracuda (sphyraena indiastes), blue and black marlin, yellow-finned and long-finned tuna (thunnus albacares, thunnus alalunga), snook and many other species.

Ecuador’s location… weather and  the sea create good shrimp farming conditons.

ecuador-farms

Shrimp farm shown on Jean Marie Butterlin’s most recent Ecuador agricultural expedition..

Our Bahia contacts are one great reason to have an Ecuador farm around Bahia!

Jean Marie Butterlin lives in Bahia and heads the Ateam Ecuador that consists of contacts that reach from street sweepers to the highest echelons of power in the country.

Merri and I traveled all over Ecuador for more than a decade and worked hard to develop good contacts and help them.  With 33,976 readers on our lists and adding over a thousand new readers a month we are one if not the most active site about Ecuador.  Our contacts know this and that we can help them so they help us and make sure our readers get good service.

Jean Marie just sent this note about one of the real estate experts he uses to help readers in Bahia.

The wonderful beaches, stunning bay and ocean views, nice weather, nice people, safety and the seafood are great attraction to Bahia, Ecuador but the number one reason I came to live in Bahia with Pascale is….this man Ney Xavier Guttierez.

Bahia-ecuador-real-estate-image-contact

Ney Xavier Guttierez.

Xavier, as everyone calls him, is a Bahia native.   He has followed in the footsteps of his father, who was an agri engineer and has been involved in shrimp farming for many years.

After coming to the US to study marine biology in California, he returned home to attend his family’s business i.e. shrimp farming.

His passion beside farming shrimp is ecology and helping Ecuador and Bahia in particular work on a sustainable environment program; he is an eco-activist, who works with the local communities to improve the air, water and soil quality.

His vision is very simple, work with the local communities to improve their quality of life  by creating a sustainable environment, working on bio ecological  agriculture, and creating jobs.

Xavier has worked in real estate on the coast of Ecuador from Puerto Lopez to Cojimies for the last eight years and knows the area extremely well.

I was fortunate to become not only his associate but also his friend.  My wife, Pascale, is the godmother of his latest baby girl, Victoria.

A couple of years ago Xavier came to me with a great idea, to organize an agriculture expedition for  new investors in Ecuador.  I jumped on his great vision and this month we are doing our third and fourth agri expeditions.

Most of our clients have become good friends. Xavier has that unusual human quality where he quickly earns the trust of those who get to know him.

Xavier has lately pioneered a new way of raising shrimp that cuts the total variable cost of farming shrimps by a factor four!

His latest presentation to the Chamber of Agriculture of his findings earned him a long standing ovation.

I have seen a few stories on the internet about how good the shrimp business is in Ecuador.  Imagine this, if you have Xavier on your side managing your shrimp farm, you operate at a fourth of the cost of your competition!

Theses are the kind of values we bring to our delegates beyond the value of the real estate itself, experience, innovation and trust.

There are very few shrimp farms for sale but we know the ones that are and our delegates after a long trip on a very bad road get to see several shrimp farms offered at very reasonable prices.

I am very fortunate to have Xavier help and you will be also if you join us for an Agricultural Tour.

Jean Marie.

Ecuador Agricultural Real Estate Tour

For current Ecuador Agricultural Real Estate information send me a note at gary@garyascott.com

Screen shot 2012-07-25 at 12.29.30 PM

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.

Screen shot 2012-07-25 at 12.28.53 PM

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.

Screen shot 2012-07-25 at 12.30.49 PM

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.

Screen shot 2012-07-25 at 12.30.35 PM

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.

Screen shot 2012-07-25 at 12.30.24 PM

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.

Screen shot 2012-07-25 at 12.29.47 PM

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.

Screen shot 2012-07-25 at 12.30.11 PM

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).

Screen shot 2012-07-25 at 12.30.00 PM

Covered drying patio.

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

Screen shot 2012-07-25 at 12.31.12 PM

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)

Screen shot 2012-07-25 at 12.31.01 PM

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.

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.

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.

 

Read the Washington Post article World’s Fish Supply Running Out, Researchers Warn

No Risk Farming


Are you interested in no risk farming?

Sorry… there is no such thing.

farms

Merri and I own a farm in North Carolina and this orange grove below in Florida so we know there is no such thing as no risk farming.

A reader recently sent me this note.  Gary, is it true one can invest like a share holder in this agriculture business if one knows nothing about the business? Another words invest, sit back and reap the rewards?  I am interested because I trust your judgement in business people to have honest integrity. Will be waiting to here from you .  Thank you.

My reply:  I am a great believer in the future potential of agriculture and there are many ways to participate in farming investments.  One way is to invest in shares of a big ag company.

Take Tejon Land Company (symbol TRC on the NYSE) as an example.

Business.yahoo.com summarizes this company when it says:

Tejon ranch co

Here is Tejon’s share price chart from the same site.

tejon chart

The Tejon shares have shown a steady rose… but the up and down nature shows that there is plenty of volatility in agricultural shares.

Falling share and real estate prices may have kept the share price down but the company has 270,000 acres of land… a great deal of it is in agriculture that creates intrinsic and somewhat hidden value.

Tejon Ranch was founded in 1843 as a Mexican land grant. The shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange as NYSE: TRC.

In the decades that followed, the ranch grew in size as additional land grants were purchased by Tejon’s founder, General Edward Fitzgerald Beale, a historic figure in early California.

Today, Tejon is a diversified real estate development and agricultural company whose principal asset is that 270,000-acre land holding located approximately 60 miles north of Los Angeles and 25 miles south of Bakersfield.

The company generates operating revenue from land entitlement and development, commercial leases, marketing of real estate projects, oil and mineral production, utility easements, recreational activities, and filming locations. Tejon also generates revenue from farming almonds, pistachios, walnuts, and wine grapes.

Another way to invest in agriculture is to own your own farm and have it managed.

Merri and I do this second alternative. We have an orange grove and know nothing about farming it.  We have a grove manager who does all the work and so far have enjoyed a nice profit each year.  The management company has a long history and I have not had a problem with them.

gary-scott-orange-grove

Orange gold. When the crop is good and prices are high… farming profits can be impressive.

All agriculture does have risk… weather…  commodity gluts or price problems in markets, disease… drought… any of these can create loss.

gary-scott-orange-grove

Here is one of the photos I took when during our first two years of grove ownership we sweated (or rather shivered) through two record long freezes.  The crops could have been ruined and worse the trees killed.  We irrigated regularly and were lucky… but that does not mean there was no risk.  In the late 1800s over 90% of Florida’s orange trees were killed in a sudden and severe cold snap.

One has to be sure that there is a good manager. The less one knows about the manager and about farming the greater the risk.

I assume you are asking about the Ecuador farm management program offered by Jean Marie Butterlin.   We do not participate in the farm program by the way and are not involved in any way financially so we have no agenda to promote this other than to show our readers ways they can earn income in Ecuador. We have worked with Jean Marie for a number of years and have found him efficient, honest, honorable and responsive in all our dealings.  We enjoyed our association enough to sponsor his Ecuador businesses and he heads Ateam Ecuador.  We love Ecuador.  We like farming. We trust Jean Marie so our belief is that his will be a good honest program… but no one, especially in this day and age, just “invests, sits back and reaps the rewards” in any investment.  There are bugs, beetles, rains, blights, scale, competition and a host of obstacles to hurdle to make a profit.  Agriculture may be one of the most fickle businesses of all… though my experience is it is also one of the most exciting.  There is some miracle… a thrill we feel watching those crops grow… like a child.

Whatever investment you make… look at those you work with carefully and always deal with them in a businesslike way.

The third way is to make farming a lifestyle.  This is as much a lifestyle decision as it is an investment.
This is why we have shown many farms on agricultural tours.   Take, for example, this Swiss cheese business that we toured.

Here are Merri and me leading the group in. Imagine how living in this environment could bring balance… reduce stress and enhance health.

CHEESE FACTORY

Here is the quaint house (a modified Swiss chalet!) where you would live.

CHEESE FACTORY

Plus everything here is organic…including the cheese.

The image “http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3006/2304587785_51534e9683.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

One delegate who grew up on a dairy said these were the healthiest dairy cattle he had ever seen.

CHEESE FACTORY

Plus the Swiss equipment was perfect.

CHEESE FACTORY

I am not sure this dairy ever sold. The price was quite high.  However we have shown readers an avocado farm… and organic tomato operation and once a wonderful peach grove.

I am told that small farms especially are selling really quickly now.

Farming is the perfect type of opportunity for someone who has a passion for farming, food production and wants to live that lifestyle.

At our recent Quantum Thinking + Investing and Business seminar, we ended with these two slides that are relevant to farming and investment risk.

Slide #1: We know less than we think we do…that’s OK.

#1: Listen to those who disagree to expand horizons.
#2: Truth is not created by repletion of an error.
#3: Opt for certainty, you will die anonymously.
#4: Don’t care too much about daily volatility.
#5: Don’t care too little about strategy.
#6: Don’t count on extraordinary returns.
#7: Do not underexpose (don’t make too many short term decisions and not enough long term decisions) yourself for the long term.

Slide #2:  Risk is Our Partner

#1: Embrace it
#2: Adapt
#3: Look for Contrasts & Trends
#4: Look for Value
#5: Invest in What You Know
#6: Have Fun
#7: Have Options!

Agricultural investments have the advantage of overall low real estate mixed with extra price potential due to rising and food prices.  Though agricultural investments have risks… there are huge lifestyle benefits and extra profit potential now.

Learn more about investing in agriculture as a Multi Currency Subscriber.  Subscribe here $79.

Listen to investing ideas in our “Quantum Investing & Business Made EZ 2012” from a digital download.

Hear this latest course on your computer… MP3 player or in your car.

Try out this seminar with our unique guarantee.  Hear our and Jyske’s latest portfolio recommendations.  Listen to our researcher report on our first journey to Cuba.  Get dozens of economic and global business ideas.  If you don’t love it… let us know for a full refund.

We update how we are investing globally… and why… at each course.   Enroll here. We will send you the seminar in audio digital form for only $199 and enroll you as a multi currency subscriber FREE.  You save the $79 above.  Order here.

Enroll in our June Quantum Thinking plus Investing and Business Seminar and we’ll send you the February course recordings in MP3 file and make you a multi currency subscriber. You save $278.  See details below or become an International Club member.  Attend all our courses free and save over $6,758. See details here.
Gary

Ecuador offers special agricultural benefits now.

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.

A Plus for Ecuador Agriculture


Here is a plus for Ecuador agricultural land.

Ecuador farming ranges from big to small.

potato farmers

Potato farming family near Otavalo.

potato farmers

Dairy for organic cheese outside Cotacachi.

There is an unimaginable variety in Ecuador agriculture.

llama farmers

Llamas for wool.

Ecuador corn

Corn is everywhere… huge farms and small concerns like this family nearby.

There is almost every type of vegetable… nut and fruit.

ecuador fruit

Ecuador food market.

Amazing varieties of flowers.

ecuador-flowers

Ecuador tropical flowers.

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

production.

Yet Ecuador agricultural prices are still low… especially on the coast.  But don’t count on this lasting forever. The Chinese are on their way.

A February 1, 2012 Washington Post article entitled “China plants bitter seeds in South American farmland – Culture clash seen with wave of investments by Kelly Hearn says:  Few were surprised when Venezuela announced a deal with China last week to restore 1.4 million acres of unproductive farmland across the oil-rich but impoverished South American nation.

China increasingly is buying farmland and agricultural companies in South America to feed its ever-growing population, currently estimated to be 1.34 billion.
The most important aspect of China’s agricultural investment in Latin America is that “it is a part of the increasing physical footprint of the People’s Republic of China that is just beginning to occur,” said Evan Ellis, an assistant professor at National Defense University in Washington.

Central to China’s rising agricultural-industrial complex are soybeans from Brazil and Argentina, millions of tons of which the Chinese are importing to feed cows and pigs to meet a growing demand for meat.

From 2005 to 2011, China’s soybean demand nearly doubled to more than 70 million tons per year, while domestic production declined 10 percent to 14 million tons, according to SinoLatin Capital, a Shanghai-based investment firm focused on transactions between Latin America and China.

China is working to close that deficit by infusing cash into Latin American economies in exchange for allowing Chinese government-owned companies to set up shop and extract basic food goods:

• The Chongqing Grain Group has agreed to build an industrial complex for soybean processing in Brazil’s Bahia state, where it reportedly plans to invest up to $2.4 billion.

• The Hong Kong-based company Noble Group is steering $237 million to a similar project in Brazil’s Mato Grosso region.

• China’s Sanhe Hopeful Grain & Oil announced plans in April to put $7.5 billion into soybean processing facilities in the state of Goias in exchange for an annual supply of 6 million tons of the legumes from Brazil, a deal that reportedly includes building a railroad to move products out of the facility.

Mr. Ellis notes that the Chinese agricultural giant Helionjiang Beidahuang, the China National Agricultural Development Group Corp. and Chongqing Grain Group have made clear their intention to buy Brazilian land in coming years.

In Argentina last year, Beidahuang inked a deal with the provincial government of Rio Negro to help develop more than 800,000 acres of farmland and upgrade a port in exchange for soybean exports over the next 20 years.

Save $499 on agricultural tour.

Jean Marie began conducting four wheel drive agricultural tours last year.  Many readers wanted to attend this tour but also wanted to take real estate tours to see residential real estate.   So, Jean Marie came up with a great solution… any delegate on an ag expedition can attend a coastal real estate tour (normally $499) free.

Let me explain more about the agricultural expedition first than you can read about the coastal tours.

Here’s the note that Jean Marie recently sent me.

Ecuador Agriculture Business Summary

A- Introduction :

We were all taught that Investing is all about relationship 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 USD drops or goes up ?  (Ecuador 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.  Right now we are investing our money 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 i.e. agri-engineers, business management, sales and marketing, accounting, legal areas, but most importantly we have setup a network of locals in many parts of Manabi, whom we call « spotters », that help us find the available properties at the best possible price.  These spotters live within the community and know the history, owner of each property.   They help us to sort out the deed issues and we get the also all the info :   good, bad, i.e. 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.  More and more land is allocated to making biofuel, which is one of the areas we are working also in Manabi.

Ecuador has still 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.

B- Profit potential in Ecuador Agriculture:

How much can you expect to make in 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  that work 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 to 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 and mostly the famous « middlemen », that are 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 choose 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 ha in a specific area ;

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

This shows that initial land cost 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 ha is about $2,500 on average  and can be a hilly type farm.

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

When acquisition cost of the land are deducted total cash flow on a typical 4 year period is : $114,000 and 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 will get $156,250 gross income fr the sale of the wood for a net cash flow of $114,000.

For the second 4 year cycle, the cash flow will 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 longer cycle crop as it takes 4 years to really start harvesting.  The Ecuadorian Cacao has a good reputation and sells well.

Papaya is also a very 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 a 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.

3- Cash Flow Management:

In our development strategy, we aim to maximize regular cash flow i.e. combining on specific one fram short cycle crops like plantain or passion fruit and longer cycle crops like balsawood or cacao. This enables 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.

4- Management Package:

We offer a management package that we provide to our clients, who know nothing about agri-business.  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.

5- 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 being the ability to monetize the « organic » side of the business.

•Help the local economy and local communities in Ecuador.

6- FAQ:

Why are not more people investing in Ecuador agriculture ?

a) Ecuadorian campesinos are not business people.  They are not entrepreneurs as they lack basic skills outside their trade and they do not have easy access to cheap crédit 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 Ecaudor 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 are you providing?

We provide the following services:

– 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 considerer 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 that tree is growing 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 thousand of acres planted can not 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.

Attend the Agri Business Expedition and attend a coastal tour free. Save $499.

“China plants bitter seeds in South American farmland

An Incident at Magnolia and Arlington in Riverside


An incident at Magnolia and Arlington… a  Riverside, California intersection, can help us see three valuable lessons about turning your passion into profit through writing and publishing.

Our son, Jake, set us several books on citrus.

oranges

I have learned a lot.

For example did you know orange trees live over 100 years?

I am reading “Citrus – a History” by Pierre Laszlo, a chemist I learned that the California orange industry grew from three trees planted by militant abolitionists who left the East and came to Calif.  Eliza Tibbets was the wife of one and asked the US Dept. of Agriculture for advice on trees that would grow in her front yard.  She was sent three seedlings of the Umbigo Bahai orange from Brazil.  One tree was trampled by the lady’s cow… oops.

oranges

The other two survived and as Lazslo the author put it: As the story goes, Eliza served her oranges at a housewarming party and they were an instant sensation. Here three trees were the foundation for citriculture in California.

One of these two trees still survives in downtown Riverside at the intersection of Magnolia and Arlington Avenues.

I searched Google and sure enough here it is!  Wow, what a piece of history.

riverside-oranges gtas:
Orange tree in Riverside.

The US orange industry is worth $9 billion a year and 90% of oranges come from Florida and Brazil.

Part of the data in these books such as “Citrus a History” are recipes. One book even has a recipe for fried oranges.

A perfect example of the American way. Take something healthy and fry it!  Take paradise and turn it into a parking lot.

We’ll stick to our grilled grapefruit with cinnamon here.

oranges

Here is the first lesson about writing and publishing… be involved in what you love and start small.  Eliza Tibbets started with three seedlings that grew into a billion dollar industry.  She was the Johnny Appleseed of California citrus.

Take citrus as an example.  One can grow oranges… or sell them… or make them organic.

I am thinking about growing oranges in a bottle.

I picked up this idea after reading a Telegraph article that tells how to grow pears in a bottle (that is then filled with brandy). There is a great Youtube video that explains the ancient technique. Here is a shot of how to grow pears in a bottle from that site.

bottled-pear

There is also a Romanian drink called ţuică, a type of Eastern European moonshine, prepared using traditional methods. A famous form of  ţuică  is “ţuica cu fruct.” This is a glass bottle of ţuică containing a whole fruit (usually an apple or a pear). It is obtained by hanging empty bottles on trees in spring or early summer and growing the fruit inside the bottle.

Fill the bottled orange with what? The mind runs wild. Vodka sounds sensible but booze is not my thing, but I can think of something healthy I am sure.

The key is making something unique and if I do, I’ll expand the opportunity by writing about it.

This leads to the second lesson…. publishing can be a product or can enhance a product.  If I figure out a health product based around oranges in a bottle for example… a book or report about this would certainly enhance the product and maybe even generate more income than the bottled product.

The book above “Citrus a History” by Allen Susser shows how a chef combines the love of cooking and citrus.

Susser had his career expanded with the James Beard Award in 1994 as Best New Chef in the Southeast.  Then he ran his Chef Allen’s Restaurant for 25 years before closing it to  focus on writing, restaurant development, consulting, teaching and other culinary ventures. 

Susser has been using his writing  and publishing to expand branded concepts.

He also uses his growing business to support of causes ranging from hunger relief to cancer to homelessness to culinary education.  Allen’s most-recent fundraising project is directing a coalition of international chefs to support disaster relief in Japan (chefshelpjapan.com).  His motto is  “They say you do well by doing good”.

This example shows how one can focus on an interest and turn it into an income earner in many ways.

Just being a chef can develop a good income but when expanded though writing and publishing the money can become a lot!

Forbes.com recently published their list of the Top Ten Highest Earning Celebrity Chefs, The top billed chef was Rachel Ray, then Wolfgang Puck and Gordon Ramsay.   Celebrity chefs have become some of the top earners in the celebrity world and they have all used writing and publishing to expand their brand.

Gordon Ramsay, in third place earnings, is a Scottish chef who grew up in Stratford-upon-Avon, England.  He started to get exposed to several Michelin-starred chefs when he worked in Paris.  By 1998 he got to open his own restaurant in Chelsea and achieved several Michelin stars as well.

He earned 7.5 million dollars last year and he is continuously opening restaurants in England, Dubai, Japan, New York and Ireland.

Plus he is publishing more and more books including: Gordon Ramsay Makes It Easy – Roasting in Hell’s Kitchen: Temper Tantrums, F-Words, and the Pursuit of Perfection – Cooking for Friends  – Gordon Ramsay’s Fast Food: More Than 100 Delicious, Super-Fast, and Easy Recipes – Gordon Ramsay’s Healthy Appetite: 125 Super-Fresh Recipes for a High-Energy Life – Kitchen Heaven  – A Chef for All Seasons – Gordon Ramsay’s Great Escape: 100 Recipes Inspired by Asia. He has also tapped the Spanish market with books including  – Un chef para todo el ano   – Cocina del mundo   Los mejores menus de Ramsay and Los mejores menus de Ramsay.

Wolfgang Puck did better earning $16 million.  This Austrian-American learned cooking from his mother.  Some education!

Wolfgang Puck still wears his chef’s hat but isn’t cooking much. he is too busy visiting his many fine dining and casual dining spots.  His other ventures include 80 Wolfgang Puck Express operations, and kitchen and food merchandise, including cookbooks and canned foods–allowing him to get included in the list as one of the highest earning chef celebrities in the world today.

Rachel Ray was the top earner at $18 million.
  Rachael Ray is a chef, but also a TV  personality, businesswoman and author. She hosts the syndicated talk and lifestyle program Rachael Ray and three Food Network series, 30 Minute Meals, Rachael Ray’s Tasty Travels and $40 a Day. Ray wrote cookbooks based on the 30 Minute Meals concept and launched a magazine.

Here is the third lesson. You can have the freedom to do what you love from any place you like, even operating from your bedroom if you wish.  Writing and publishing can promote your product or be your product.

What do you love? Rare cars? You can make a fortune creating a business around them. Do you prefer fine art? Or do you love beautiful jewelry, coins, gems, real estate, furs, model railways, dolls, scientific equipment, war memorabilia, old and rare books, or whatever? Do you prefer social subjects rather than objects?

Are you concerned with the environment or humanitarian problems, with crimes, war or poverty? Would you like to help wipe these social problems out in the course of your writing and publishing?   Chef Allen Susser expands that motto “They say you do well by doing good”.

Are you a golfer? Do you love to travel? Why not make all kinds of money in a global business related to golf?

Would you like to help the world be a more spiritual place, help people get along better together? You can do something good for the world, increase your income and live wherever you please in the process!

Whatever your passion you can learn how to make a fortune by enhancing that business with publishing.   Regardless of your skills and position there is some approach that will work for you.

Take fishing, for example. Millions of people love fishing.

If you love cooking and fishing you can publish a fishing cook book.

Here are just a few of many ways that others have profitably matched this passion with profit. Two of my friends, John and Lou, grew up near me in the Oregon mountains. They were outdoor adventure types and moved to Canada, where they homesteaded 1,200 acres on a trout-filled lake in mid British Columbia. They built a fishing camp that attracts fisherman from around the world.  A book on the exploits of their guests would be wonderful in the adventure market AND would help promote their camp.

An entrepreneur I know from Montana had marketing skills so he published catalogs that sold fishing trips for fishing camps. He attended rod and gun exhibitions, met owners of these camps and arranged to sell their fishing trips to the US, Argentina and even in Russia to fisherman around the world.

Ralph Kylloe on the other hand loved fishing and photography so he created the book, “Fishing Camps”, which was published by Gibbs Smith publisher. This allowed Ralph to travel across the country enjoying fishing camps as he photographed and wrote.

fishing camps

Each of these people had different backgrounds and differed in age, situation and skills. Their common link, the love of fishing, led each to a business related to fishing. Each was able to blend a unique nature and set of skills to develop a global business that surrounded them with fun, like minded fishing souls.  Each was able to expand their business through publishing.

Also, imagine what a publishing business means to your world travel. Almost every trip you take can be tax deductible! You can honestly write off every trip that is related to your business. Every journey becomes a research oriented adventure and a tax deductible event.

As a writer and or publisher you’ll have one of the most respected and tax protected businesses in the country with many  benefits including reduced tax and legal protection.

This is why we offer our course Self Fulfilled How to be a Writer and Publisher.  See details of this online course here

Gary

Save $299

Join us for our Writer’s Camp and we’ll send you Self Fulfilled free.

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

 

 

Funky Micro Business in Weeds


There are many funky micro business opportunities in weeds.

One man’s flower is another man’s weed.  One man’s problem is another man’s opportunity.

The wonderful flowers in our North Carolina front yard are…

car-story 

weeds.   They are beautiful one time of the year but take over if not controlled.  We use bush hogs to keep them cut back… but our meadows are fpr grazing and  are small.   Mowing won’t work in most types of farming and this fact creates profit potential.

Excerpts from a Businessweek article The Super Weed Strikes Back tells the tale:  Justin Cariker grabs a 7-foot-tall Palmer pigweed at his farm, bending the wrist-thick stem to reveal how it has overwhelmed the cotton plant beneath it. This is no ordinary weed: Over time it has developed resistance to Monsanto’s best-selling herbicide, Roundup. Hundreds of such “superweeds” are rising defiantly across this corner of the Mississippi Delta. “We’re not winning the battle,” Cariker, owner of Maud Farms in Dundee, Miss., says as he looks at weeds that tower over his infested cotton field like spindly green scarecrows.

Cariker’s superweeds represent a growing problem for Monsanto, whose $11 billion of annual sales are anchored in crops genetically engineered to tolerate Roundup, the world’s best-selling weedkiller. The use of Roundup Ready seeds has transformed farming in the 15 years since their debut, allowing growers to easily dispatch hundreds of types of weeds with a single herbicide while leaving crops unscathed. “When the Roundup system first came out, to a farmer this was the best thing that ever happened,” says Cariker, who used the labor-saving technology to double his planted acreage, to 5,000. “Farmers thought we had died and gone to heaven.”

Not exactly: It turns out the widespread use of Roundup has led to the evolution of far-tougher-to-eradicate strains of weeds.

Resistant weeds are a huge problem as the world’s food supplies struggle to keep up with a growing population.  and the bigger the problem the greater the opportunity.

More powerful herbicides are not the answer.  Toxic sprays already create health problems enough!

Finding ways to supply nutritious, healthy foods is among the top income producing  fields.

This is why we we have made Bio Wash one of the five turnkey business opportunities we have integrated into our International Business Made EZ program.

The Beta Turnkey International Micro Business program is aimed at bringing goodness AND profit.

Take Bio Wash as an example.  A recent message we shared over two dozen ways that people from restaurants to farmers to garbage processors are using this organic bio degradable product to enhance some part of their business and help the environment at the same time.

Bio Wash helps plants grow and is…

biowash

well suited for small business.

biowash

Gary

We have general plans for this micro business program but will refine it as we work with the first readers who enroll.  We find the best way to develop systems is to refine through action. We expect our beta program this year to clarify how we can best help our readers develop successful micro businesses and invite your participation.

To start either order one of the three online programs.

International Business Made EZ ($239)

Self Fulfilled – How to be a Self Publisher ($299)

Event – Full How to Earn With  Your Own Seminars ($349)

or enroll in an International Business and Investing Seminar to be eligible.

Most readers  who enroll in our Online Courses and attend our International Business and Investing Seminar have their own business in mind.  Our courses and seminars will help make your business ideas work better.   Those who do not have a business idea can join in our turnkey micro business program.

Gary

Read Businessweek article The Super Weed Strikes Back

 

ChocOops! Two Way Export Earnings


Oops! I made a mistake this morning.

Sometimes we can profit from error and this goof that I made can help us learn a couple of methods to earn extra income with two way exports.

First the mistake.  I have been eating too much chocolate and must have been on a sugar high because this morning’s health tip mentioned a 12 square chocolate extra dark chocolate bar and then promptly showed the nutrition facts from a 16 square bar.   Plus beyond that my math was wrong.  The message said that six squares equaled 90 calories.  Actually it should read four squares equals 112 calories.

The tip showed a simple tip how as a chocoholic… I sometimes allow myself an part of an Extra dark Chocolate… or any good dark chocolate to keep my weight in check.  I really like the real chocolate from Ecuador but sometimes I run out. I like the Hershey’s because it’s practical, simple and inexpensive.  Easy to find and the price is good.  I keep my eyes open at the dollar stores and often find these extra dark bars for a dollar a bar.  Some dark chocolate can be expensive but that price is a bargain!  I don’t eat but a tiny bit, but it helps me to know that being dark and high in chocolate, low in sugar and low in calories that every once in a while I can splurge.

Plus half a bar has about 225 calories.

An entire big 16 square bar is however 450 calories according the nutrition facts on the wrapper and I find that less than half a bar totally satisfies my chocolate craving.  Chocolate is also a source of antioxidants….or so they say…(this helps me feel a little less guilty!)

Fwd: chocolate

Of course there is a lot more we can do to improve our nutrition.  This is just one little trick to keep choco cravings at bay.

Here is the lesson we can learn from my error on how to earn from two way exports. 

A sharp eyed reader who obviously did better in school at arithmetic than I… sent this note.  Well Gary, you got the chocolate bar wrong. 180 calories is for ONE serving, and there are 2.4 servings per whole bar. So the entire bar would be 432 calories.

I don’t think I’ve seen those other bars you show, but I really like Ecuadorian chocolate. I usually buy the organic Kallari 85% Cacao
bars. Also the bars with dried Blueberries. And any other organic that is at least 70% Cacao. And the cocoa covered cacao beans.

I’ve got an Cuenca born girl friend who tells me most locals prefer imported chocolates. I certainly don’t know why!!

Speaking of blueberries, that is the one fruit that is hard to come by here in Cuenca. I’ve had friends tell me they have seen them in the
Super Maxi, certain times of the year. I’ve yet to find them, in 19 months here. Although I buy 90% of my fruits/vegies in the local
mercados.

Here is the lesson.   Distance creates mystery. Rarity creates value.  Ecuador chocolate in Ecuador is seen by the locals as not so special.  They would rather have the special Hersheys. Here Hershey is not seen as special.   Ecuador chocolate is seen as the special stuff.

So.. when you travel to Ecuador… take Hersey bars.  When you return, bring back a big bag of Ecuador chocolate bars. Buy locally low… Sell abroad high.

Learn more ways to earn with exports below.

#1: Export Ecuador Chocolate.

ecuador-chcoclate

Ecuadorian  chocolate.

The next Ecuador Exports Tour is August 31-Sept. 1-2-3-4, 2011

Ecuador Exports tour for one  $749 Reserve here for a couple $999

Join the Ecuador Export Tour directed by Bonnie Keough who is actively exporting from Ecuador now.

Meet the artists, designers, creators, craftsmen, wholesalers and visit them in their workshops, homes and markets.

Improve the quality of your life, expand your horizons and reduce the tax you pay as you increase asset protection by having an overseas company and overseas income!

Join other like minded souls in Ecuador.  Learn how to gain freedom and self fulfillment through an Ecuador export business.

See Ecuador export potential  in Ecuador.

In wood products.  In Ecuador’s art.

ecuador-exports

 

In jewelry and all types of exports.

This tour goes to the high Andes.

You’ll travel everyday to see different markets, crafts people and masters who create special products that will make your eyes gleam with delight…both for their uniqueness and attraction.

In addition, over the years we’ve combined this knowledge and experience with contacts in the form of American and European readers who now live and work in Ecuador. Working with them Bonnie and Jean Marie have set up office and business facilities to create an export support service that we can now offer to you.

They have even created a one of a kind post office channel so you can ship  goods quickly and safely from Ecuador to the USA or worldwide.

You learn from tour leaders who have practical experience.  They will tell you about their shipping experiences and what they have learned from them, good and bad.

Timing for such a business has never been better!

Exporting has already created fortunes for a few sophisticated individuals. Now because of our knowledge, experience and contacts, a special business is available for you. Until recently, operating an overseas business took a great deal of time and effort to start. This is no longer true.

Technology makes it possible to take your business where opportunity is best and allows you to run this business from anywhere in the world.

This tour offers an extra $897 + bonus value. When you enroll in the Ecuador export tour you are entitled to five bonuses, our three $299 emailed courses “Tangled Web How to have an Internet Business course” Self fulfilled how to be a Self Publisher” and “International Business Made EZ”, plus a 52 lesson course on “How to Build Your own Web site and a video from our webmaster David Cross on “How to Use a Website to Generate Income”. 

You gain this $897 + value FREE.

The tour’s mission  is to help you actually find products that:

#1: Can be sold to easily identified markets.

#2: Can be marked up many times while allowing a fair trade for the indigenous.

#3: Can be imported in a suitcase.

The tour lets you see in a practical way  how to achieve the goals taught in the course.  See more about Ecuador exports here.

#2: Earn with Ecuador Cocoa, Coffee and Agriculture.  Check out blueberry farming in Ecuador.

The reader above wrote:  Speaking of blueberries, that is the one fruit that is hard to come by here in Cuenca. I’ve had friends tell me they have seen them in the Super Maxi, certain times of the year. I’ve yet to find them, in 19 months here. Although I buy 90% of my fruits/vegies in the local mercados.

If there is a lack of blueberries in Ecuador look for agricultural land where blueberries can be grown… or import blueberries to Ecuador.

Agriculture has a bright future and 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.

Here is what Jean Marie Butterlin has explained about the first Ecuador real estate tour he will conduct this October 2011.

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

A lot of clients on our real estate tours ask  “How can  I generate a little income in Ecuador”?  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.

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 will inspect.  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 will break into small groups to discuss in more details each business its costs and potential profits.

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

* water on site
* access roads
* good port close

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

We will 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.

Optional Day 4 and 5: residential real estate tour of the mid coast from Manta to Cojimies.

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.

Arrival date is October 15 in Quito. Travel to Manta and Bahia October 16, 2011.

Travel back to Quito on October 20th. (or October 22 if real estate tour option is added).

Included in the price are all local transportation including domestic airfare from Quito to Manta and lodging.  Meals are not included.

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

2 day Ecuador residential real estate option $299/single   $499/couple;

Tour Plus Extension Single  $2,289

Tour Plus Extension Couple  $3,489

You may decide to take the option during the agri expedition.

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

 

 

 

 

Three Ways to Earn South


Here are three business ideas to earn south.

Look south… first to Cuba.

cuba

Cuban country scene

We introduced our first Cuban business ideas at our June 24-26 International Business seminar. Now Cuba is starting to open up! Cuba is already Canada’s number one tourist destination and now it’s easier than ever for Americans as well.

Here is an excerpt from Last Sunday’s New York Times Reports in an article “New Ways to Visit Cuba — Legally” by By Michelle Higgins

The new people-to-people measures make it easier for United States citizens who do not have special status to visit Cuba legally, so long as they go with a licensed operator.  ALWAYS wanted to visit Cuba? Well now you can — legally.

Thanks to policy changes by President Obama earlier this year designed to encourage more contact between Americans and citizens of the Communist-ruled island, the Treasury Department is once again granting so-called “people-to-people” licenses, which greatly expand travel opportunities for Cuba-bound visitors.

To be clear, it is still illegal for ordinary American vacationers to hop on a plane bound for Cuba, which has been under a United States economic embargo for nearly 50 years. True, plenty have dodged the restrictions — and continue to do so — by flying there from another country like Mexico or Canada (for Americans, traveling to Cuba is technically not illegal, but it might as well be since the United States prohibits its citizens from spending money in Cuba, with exceptions for students, journalists, Cuban-Americans and others with legal reasons to travel there). And while Washington has also expanded licensing for educational groups traveling to Cuba by loosening requirements, travelers joining an educational trip must still receive credit toward a degree.

But the new people-to-people measures make it easier for United States citizens who do not have special status as working journalists or scholars to visit Cuba legally, so long as they go with a licensed operator.

“All a U.S. citizen has to do is sign up for an authorized program and they can go to Cuba. It’s as simple as that,” said Tom Popper, director of Insight Cuba, a travel company that took more than 3,000 Americans to Cuba between 1999 and 2003, and was among the tour operators to apply for a license under the new rules earlier this year. It received its license at the end of June, and has planned 135 trips of three, seven or eight nights over the next year.

This creates a multitude of business ideas.  You can listen to our friend and researcher, Dr. Glenn Stirling, who just returned from Cuba on the recorded International Business & Investing seminar.  Read more here.

Then look further south to Ecuador.

Learn two others ways to earn on the equator.

#1: Ecuador Export Tours. See more here.

#2: Ecuador Agriculture Tours. See below.

Jean Marie Butterlin has created an Ecuador agricultural property tour.  This is for those of you who have asked to look at property for its potential in this field.

Ecuador-ag-land

See Ecuador agricultural property by four wheel drive.

Agriculture has a bright future and 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!  Searching for good farmland takes hours just to get to the land.  Secondly, it almost always takes hours inspecting the land.

Then once you find something that looks good… the hard part begins.  Doing all the research negotiating the right price.

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?

Because there has been such interest Jean Marie Butterlin has created 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 potential in Ecuador.

Here is what Jean Marie has explained about the first Ecuador real estate tour he will conduct this October 2011.

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 will inspect.  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 will break into small groups to discuss in more details each business its costs and potential profits.

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

* water on site
* access roads
* good port close

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

We will 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.

Optional Day 4 and 5: residential real estate tour of the mid coast from Manta to Cojimies.

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.

Arrival date is October 15 in Quito. Travel to Manta and Bahia October 16, 2011.

Travel back to Quito on October 20th. (or October 22 if real estate tour option is added).

Included in the price are all local transportation including domestic airfare from Quito to Manta and lodging.  Meals are not included.

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

2 day Ecuador residential real estate option $299/single   $499/couple;

Tour Plus Extension Single  $2,289

Tour Plus Extension Couple  $3,489

You may decide to take the option during the agri expedition.

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