Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Agriculture: Inside an Evolving Asset Class

AgWire Interview Series Takes a Fresh Look at Ag’s Investment Status

By Marc Dresner, IIR

Agrarian societies have been around since the Bronze Age; yet from an investment perspective, agriculture remains something of a novelty—albeit one that’s attracting significant attention of late.

Since things like soil, water, husbandry, etc., would make for unlikely passing fads, it’s a safe bet that agriculture as an investment asset class may be coming into its own.

At least that’s John Chu’s assessment.

The managing director of institutional equity research for agri-industry at AltaCorp Capital noted that as far as the S&P goes, agriculture has historically been more or less a corral of fertilizers and chemicals.

“There really wasn’t enough in the agriculture space to qualify it as an independent sector for a particular focus,” Chu told AgWire.

But new player proliferation amidst consolidating bellwethers, technological innovation, and breakthroughs in productivity and sustainability are stirring an otherwise commoditized giant.

Add opportunities in the BRICs to the mix and the agriculture investment equation becomes pretty appealing.

In this episode of AgWire, Chu surveys the factors conspiring to transform agriculture’s asset class status.

Listen to this episode of AgWire here.

Read a transcript of the interview here.

Editor’s note: AgWire is produced by AgReturn, a global conference series focused on the technologies, companies and investment strategies on the cutting edge of agriculture.

Next up: AgReturn San Francisco, March 13-15! For more information or to register, click here.

AgWire is an executive interview series featuring the business leaders, investment experts, innovators and entrepreneurs at the forefront of the agriculture industry. Each episode explores the trends, technologies and drivers shaping the world of agriculture today.

Marc Dresner is an IIR USA communication lead specializing in audience engagement. He is the former executive editor of Research Business Report, a confidential newsletter for the market research industry. He may be reached at mdresner@iirusa.com. Follow him @mdrezz.

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