Agricultural investment has outperformed traditional asset classes such as stocks, bonds and cash for some time, a fact backed by the sound fundamentals backing agricultural investments.
The world population is growing, with most experts predicting a growth of 40% by 2050, and a correlated growth in demand for food of at least 50%. This, combined with the diminishing supply of agricultural land is pushing up the value of agricultural land at an annual average of more than 18% over the last three years.
Here’s an interesting fundamental fact driving agricultural investments: The current commitments to biofuel use from the USA, EU, Japan, China, Canada, and India, would use up around 440 million acres, that’s all of the agricultural land in North America and 11% of the worlds farmland. This demand will continue to pressure output, and put agricultural land at a premium.
So, what could be considered the best agricultural investment? Well the options for investor are two-fold, firstly you could invest in one of the many agricultural funds available on the market, these agricultural funds offer the investor the opportunity to participate at lower levels and enjoy the lower risk element of spreading their investment over a vast portfolio of crops and locations.
The other option, and this is what I personally consider to be the best agricultural investment, involves a direct investment into agricultural land. This would be considered a low-risk asset (60% lower risk than other asset classes), as the human race will always need food, feed and fuel.
Investors choosing to buy up agricultural land now, will benefit not only from the growth in the value of the land itself, but also from the high yield earned from leasing the land to a farmer. So the best agricultural investment in 2010? direct investment, buying farmland, owning the asset, however you want to put it, those investors choosing to buy up farmland now will be well rewarded, very well rewarded indeed.