BBC News reporter Nigel Cassidy interviews speakers at the Global AgInvesting conference in London, 3-5 December 2013 at The Landmark Hotel. Global AgInvesting is the preeminent gathering of agriculture investment stakeholders worldwide and has produced 13 events since its inception in 2009, serving over 5000 attendees on four continents.
Global AgInvesting convenes the best-informed and most experienced professionals managing allocation of capital to the global agricultural sector worldwide. These events exist in order to share insights and perspectives regarding the opportunities and challenges of investing across a range of investment vehicles. www.globalaginvesting.com
he's there for us from Tokyo now one industry that set to really grow over the year ahead is food because 2014 will see investors pouring more cash than ever before into agriculture and food processing and every penny is needed the United Nations Food and Agricultural organization says that feeding the world over the next 30 years or so will require investment of around 83 billion dollars a year now compared to save bonds or currencies agriculture can offer very attractive returns but there's now recognition that just industrializing production by creating vast mechanised farms is only part of the answer investors are being pressed to think more about sustainability and the seventy percent of the world food still produced on family farms or small holdings are Europe business correspondent Nigel Cassidy has this report for this farmer it's the season to finish clearing his field and plan for next year we all have to eat it at the moment investors seem to think that the global food market could offer better returns than the financial markets but even the large agricultural companies are under pressure to help people to farm more sustainably and for growers to keep a larger share of the proceeds with investment in technology and techniques producers in emerging markets can rapidly raise yields and sales it never makes sense if the investor approaches the investment from helping perspective it only makes sense if the investor is making the investment because he's going to earn money now the question is can you make money and also help the people involved yes you can and often one small project sparks another in Indonesia we finance a company which was producing noodles then flour then drinks around that and that introduce competition in the market where at one point eighty ninety percent of the noodle market was controlled by one existing incumbent producer there's a senior UN food specialist Odin industry conference governments have to do their bit it doesn't make sense if you produce a lot on one place but there is no storage there is no proceeding there is no infrastructure to transport it on one way to other so at the end all stake holders need to work together with its agricultural investors who may also need to change their mind set the trend of urbanization screeding demand for a lot of these commodities and where there's an opportunity for the local producers to start producing for domestic consumption I think there's a misunderstanding that Africa is going to be a platform for export there is an opportunity for import substitution and for satisfying the growing needs of those domestic markets right now so maybe it's no wonder that investors are shifting some of their focus from huge agribusinesses to the seventy percent of food still produced on family farms nigel cassidy BBC news