25 August 2018Opinion -
Talking about investments in agriculture, one must differentiate between large scale land deals by means of land appropriation and investments into modernization of the existing agriculture that bring about new technologies, innovative solutions and approaches. Since agriculture tends to be very risky due to unpredictable weather conditions and volatile agricultural commodity prices, investors are reluctant to invest in agriculture. Mila Kletsky, President and Academic Director of Picking Alpha, an international investment consultancy, told largescaleagriculture.com about the trends and developments in agri-food investments with a particular focus on large scale farms.
13 August 2018
Large scale farming is driven by a relentless quest for efficient production and concentration along the food supply chain - Richard SextonOpinion -
Agri-food markets often exhibit high levels of concentration at all stages of the supply chain – "from farm to fork". As processors get bigger, they demand that farms grow to match the higher demand for standardized products. As a result, small and mid-sized farms face severe economic challenges, while the number of large farms is growing. Richard J. Sexton, Professor in Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of California, Davis, explains to largescaleagriculture.com his view on the dynamics of structural change in agriculture in the US.
31 July 2018Opinion -
The objective to generate revenues for the state budget through agricultural trade gave rise to the agricultural land expansion in the Cerrado region (Central region of Brazil) in the 1970s. State policies provided incentives to convert these vast land areas into farmland and to produce tradable agricultural products, especially soybeans. The conversion of the Cerrado was probably the biggest and the fastest land-use change in human history. This fact caused an extraordinary change in the landscape and stimulated the emergence of large scale farming oriented to fulfil the state program of import substitution. Joaquim Bento de Souza Ferreira Filho, Senior Professor at the "Luiz de Queiroz" High School for Agriculture, University of São Paulo, Brazil, explained to largescaleagriculture.com the reasons behind this development and the role large scale farms are playing in the Brazilian economy.
19 July 2018Opinion -
Russia is a major player in global agricultural markets and has vast fertile land reserves. In a decade after the financial crisis of 1998, which some experts referred to as a "blessing in disguise", Russia has achieved rapid economic growth. With real GDP growth reaching 8.3% in 2000 and 5% in 2001, Russia became attractive for investors. Especially, investments in land raised the interest of people with capital. The latter included also the Russian oligarchs who searched for new investment opportunities. Many experts see this as a starting point of the emergence of the so-called agroholdings. Oane Visser, Associate Professor at the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) of Erasmus University Rotterdam, sheds some light on the development of agroholdings in Russia in an interview to largescaleagriculture.com.
12 June 2018Opinion -
Motivation is one of the most important attributes of successful farmers. Having the courage and conviction to manage and grow a business in the face of challenges such as bad weather, volatile market prices and an increasing burden of bureaucracy speaks volumes about the resilience of Irish farmers. Ireland has an image of small fragmented family farms. The average farm size has now increased to 80 acres (32.4 hectares) and there are an increasing number of large-scale farms in Ireland. Dairy farmers with over 1,000 cows, tillage farmers growing over 3,000 acres of crops, pig farmers with 2,000 sows in fully integrated units, beef farmers finishing thousands of cattle and poultry farmers with tens of thousands of birds are an integral part of our industry. What are the criteria that help these farmers achieve such scale?
23 May 2018Opinion -
Czech Republic has its own specifics regarding the structure and development of farms. Recent studies report that a relatively small number of farms operate most of the country’s agricultural area. Although only about 20% of the farms are 100 hectares or more in size, they account for almost 90% of the total farmland area. With the average of 102 hectares per farm, this is one of the highest values in the EU. No wonder that the debate on the efficiency and profitability of such farms relative to small- and medium-size farms has been contentious in Czech society. Our interview with Dr. Ladislav Jelínek, Senior Researcher and coordinator of the research project "The role of agroholdings in the Czech agriculture" at the Institute of Agricultural Economics and Information (IAEI) in Prague, sheds light on the state-of-the-art of large scale farming in Czech Republic.
01 May 2018Opinion -
The general director of IMC, one of the largest agroholdings in Ukraine, Alex Lissitsa has long been known in the Ukrainian agri-food business as a professional lobbyist. Five years ago he left lobbying for big agricultural business, but he keeps an eye on what is generally happening in the industry. Lissitsa, who will give a keynote speech at the upcoming IAMO Forum in June 2018, talks about the main aspects of today’s large scale farming in an interview to LaScalA.
15 April 2018Opinion -
Agroholdings have recently become a subject of controversial discussions and debates. In order to understand why and how the large-scale farms develop around the world, what similarities and differences exist between them in different countries and whether or not this phenomenon is of long-lasting nature we decided to conduct an interview with Alfons Balmann, Director of the Department of Structural Development of Farms and Rural Areas at the Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Transition Economies (IAMO) and Professor of Agricultural Economics at the Germany-based Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg.