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Agribusiness managing director Anuj Maheshwari discusses the role the state-owned firm could play in improving the global food value chain and why Asia needs tech-hubs to feed itself.
Aquaculture in Norway
The firm's first two funds have almost raised a combined $250m from family offices and will invest in Norwegian ag and energy companies before exporting them to South-East Asia.
Founder John Farris said the direct investment platform has already secured three commitments, including one from a large Asian institution.
Despite the inherent risks global investors face when trying to tap into Asia’s agri-food sector, it’s unlikely they’ll be able to avoid the continent during the next decade.
Investment into areas such as agtech, aquaculture, controlled environment agriculture and sustainable proteins are expected to bear the biggest opportunities.
Green tea plantation, South Asia
Head of South Asia Srini Nagarajan says food and agri investments in the region have been ‘ignored substantially’ by private equity.
It’s too soon to know how institutional investors not directly invested in China’s pig farms will be affected, but no interested party can afford to take their eye off an outbreak that is expected to claim 55% of China's pig herd by year-end.
Managing partner Rich Gammill’s first-hand account describes the march of a disease that caught out China’s farmers and central government, and left a global supply gap that will impact all protein trade flows.
CEO Kevin Schwartz says the firm specifically targeted investors outside of its traditional base in the US and Europe, resulting in commitments coming in from institutions in China, Japan and the Middle East.
Following its disposal of 555,000 Michigan acres, Weyerhaeuser’s plans for similar properties in Maine could provide clues as to whether the sale marks a shift in species preference.
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