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Five Entrepreneurial Lessons I Learned Growing Up On A Farm

“The ultimate goal of the farm is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings.”—Masanobu Fukuoka On July 31, 1951, I was born on a farm in a faraway place called New Zealand. Today I run a Real Estate business in the heart of South America called “Gateway to South America“. For many years, I ran away from my farm-life upbringing because I thought it had no place in this business, but over time, I’ve come to embrace some of my farm-boy ways to a competitive…

The six biggest trends in global agriculture

The agricultural sector undoubtedly has its challenges; the impact of over taxation, increasing input costs, drought, waste, plastics, energy sourcing, labor, over-processing and methane emissions just to name a few. Equally, however, there are also many opportunities. So, what are some of the exciting trends we are seeing in agriculture today? Below I highlight six trends that we have identified, providing interesting insights into the rapid change underway in the sector and the potential investment opportunities…

” Open veins of Latin America” A must read for anyone thinking of doing business or living in Latin America

This translated book begins with a foreword by left-wing writer Isabel Allende, and here is  just one quote from her  introduction of the book: “His work is a mixture of meticulous detail, political conviction, poetic flair, and good storytelling.” The translation by Cedric Belfrage merits special note. This book sings in English, and the translator has done justice to the original. A major recurring theme throughout the book is that of capital squandered by the few while the many actually producing…

Bolsonaro’s popularity jumps as Brazil economy improves and crime drops

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s approval rating has surged, thanks to an improving economy and his government’s efforts to fight corruption and make Brazil’s cities safer, according to a poll released on Wednesday. The CNT/MDA poll showed Brazilians are more worried about the economy, jobs and public security than controversies that surround Bolsonaro, who had to fire his culture secretary last week for copying Nazi propaganda chief Goebbels in a speech. Reversing a steady decline in popularity in…

The Agricultural dilemma as disruptive Technologies take hold

A September 2019 report by RethinkX, an independent think tank based in London and San Francisco, predicts major disruption in food and agriculture over the next decade. Rethinking Food and Agriculture 2020-2030, the Second Domestication of Plants and Animals, the Disruption of the Cow, and the Collapse of Industrial Livestock Farming forecasts the wholesale collapse of dairy and cattle industries by 2030 as animal protein production is replaced by “precision fermentation” (also known as synthetic biology…

Top farmland investors name South America a top place to buy, lease and manage agricultural lands for profit

  Farmers’ fields in South America are among the most prized assets in a new global market for agricultural land that has sprung up alongside soaring commodity prices. Private equity and fund managers at a farm investing conference in Geneva named South America a top place to buy, lease and manage agricultural lands for profit. “The South American marketplace is really booming along right now,” said Mark Zenuk, managing director of the $3 billion NGP Global Adaptation Partners fund. Black…

Chinese beef importers seeking to renegotiate lower prices with Brazil and Uruguay suppliers

Folha de S.Paulo reported that some Chinese importers are refusing to pay for shipments that already arrived in China, seeking a discount from exporters Chinese beef importers are seeking to renegotiate prices previously agreed when they closed deals to buy dozens of shipments from Brazil and Uruguay because values are too high, according to a report in the online edition of local newspapers on Monday. The website of Folha de S.Paulo reported that some Chinese importers are refusing to pay for shipments that…

10 property tips when buying

My thoughts from 30 yrs in the real estate industry. Tip 1: Contact your broker, don’t wait for them to contact you – Good properties always sell even in a tough market. Your ability to buy the best properties that tick all of your boxes comes down to the relationships you have with the local brokers, so take the lead and make sure they always think of you first when they become aware of that perfect property. Tip 2: Buy when you can afford to buy – You will never get: (1) High growth,…

Brazil set to overtake the US as the world’s largest soybean producer

American farmers hit by US-China trade conflict and extreme weather Brazil is racing ahead of the US as the world’s largest soybean producer, as a trade war and extreme weather take a toll on American agriculture. The Latin American country’s newly planted crop is likely to yield 121.1m tonnes of soybeans in early 2020, agricultural agency Conab said on Tuesday. That is 25 per cent more than the just-harvested US crop of 96.6m tonnes.  “This is the first time ever, it appears, that we will have a smaller…

Dumb and dumber. Trump doesn’t understand currency wars, when he attacks Argentina and Brazil

What a difference a decade makes. Back in September 2010, Guido Mantega, Brazil’s then-finance minister, was complaining bitterly about “currency wars”, and claiming the Federal Reserve’s ultra-loose monetary policy of the time was unfairly hurting his economy. “We’re in the midst of an international currency war, a general weakening of the currency,” he said then. “This threatens us because it takes away our competitiveness.” Fast forward to December 2019,…

Brazil investigates agribusiness bribes to judges for favorable land rulings

Listed by Brazil’s National Institute of Colonization and Agrarian Reform (INCRA) as one of the largest cases of land grabbing in Brazil, the Condomínio Cachoeira do Estrondo Agribusiness venture occupies a total area of more than 444,000 hectares (1 million acres) in western Bahia state — an area larger than the U.S. state of Rhode Island.  Estrondo has a long history of conflict with traditional communities, has been fined by Brazil’s environmental protection agency for illegal deforestation, and…

Brazil celebrates: 0.6% expansion in the third quarter: rebound of agriculture and industry

Brazil’s economy expanded in the third quarter at its fastest pace since early last year, official data showed on Tuesday, with 0.6% growth over the previous quarter driven by a strong performance in agriculture and a sharp rebound in the industry. Upward revisions to previous figures for the first two quarters this year meant that the economy no longer contracted in the January-March period, and so steered clearer of recession than had previously been thought. Latin America’s largest economy expanded…

Why did GTSA develop the vendeRAPIDO® selling process for selling real estate in South America?

There are two reasons. To speed up the selling time and maximise the properties value  Current Market Realities South American real estate markets are in the main lightly regulated and highly informal. What this means for vendors is they are at a strong disadvantage when they come to selling a property within a reasonable time frame.  Traditional times of sale are measured in months and years.   Consequently, transaction costs are among the highest in the world.  With the globalization of real estate GTSA…

Chinese demand pushes Brazil beef prices to record high

Brazil’s famous barbecue is getting more expensive as Chinese demand is increasingly swallowing up the country’s beef supply, pushing Brazilian cattle prices to a record high. China’s hunger for foreign meat has shot up as an outbreak of African swine fever has decimated its domestic pig population and has sent it looking for substitutes. Chinese imports of Brazilian meat are up 23.6% for January to October against the same period last year, meatpackers association Abrafrigo says. Wholesale beef prices…

Buying farmland in Paraguay, Uruguay and Brazil: an investment with upside growth potential

Land prices have declined in the past few years in these countries, so with the current strength of the US dollar, it makes a strong case for investing now in farmlands Latin American’s Mercosur region. The countries in the Mercosur include Uruguay, Argentina, Venezuela, Paraguay, and Brazil. The durability and negative correlation of farmland returns to economic cycles is driven by the consistent requirement of a growing population to eat from a limited land resource base These counties share an asset that…
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