Boutique investment firm GreenWorld (BVI) announced that it now is able to offer individual Singaporean investors a unique African farmland investment opportunity. GreenWorld (BVI)’s farmland investment offering is located in the African country of Sierra Leone, and it believes it is the first one in African farmland accessible by individuals, with a minimum investment requirement of only £1,950/hectare for high quality farmland that has already begun producing.
Food prices have exploded in the last few years, and the United Nations recently estimated that global food production will need to grow 70% by 2050. With population expected to surge from 6 billion people today to 9.1 billion in 2050, and the amount of arable farmland in the world actually on a downward trend, many commentators believe farmland investment is the trade of the century.
Not surprisingly, there has been a huge surge of farmland investment by large institutions such as Singaporean Sovereign Wealth fund Temasek Holdings. Temasek has been active in farmland investments in Latin America, although more and more major institutions are also investing in African farmland.
“60% of the world’s remaining untilled arable farmland is actually in Africa,” stated Peter Thompson, MD of GreenWorld (BVI), “and this is where we feel the greatest gains from farmland investment will come in the future. The sector is just starting to be developed in Africa, and the returns will be extremely active for early entrants.”
Many development experts, however, are increasingly concerned that many of the African farmland investments seen recently are exploitive, with food produced purely for export whilst the local population receives no benefit and is frequently pushed off ancestral farmlands.
GreenWorld (BVI)’s farmland investment, however, was specifically designed to be both profitable as well as socially responsible. Thompson noted that all of the rice crop from the farmland investment is sold locally within the country, that the local population makes up almost the entire workforce, and that a substantial community investment program exists to build local schools, roads and health clinics, making the project a win-win for both investors and the local population.