Food for Thought: Farming Billionaires in Emerging Markets

Frontier Fortunes

First published in Private Banker International 

The resource curse in cash-poor but commodity-rich countries is eating into the pockets of the wealthy. Those ‘resource cursed’ are losing money in almost all commodities – from coal to copper – bar one: food.

2015 might very well be the international Year of Soils, launched on 5 December 2014 with World Soil Day, but as The Economist pointed out last week: “In the next 40 years, humans will need to produce more food than they did in the previous 10,000 put together”.

In pursuit of this goal – or perhaps in the endless quest of wealth accumulation – many HNWs from resource-rich countries have recently been diversifying into agriculture.

Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, may be losing money in oil, but he recently announced an investment nearing $9bn into Nigeria’s agricultural sector. At the other end of the continent Mohamed al-Amoudi, another billionaire, has invested $2.5bn in Ethiopian farms.

Another family formerly holding the ‘Africa’s richest’ title…

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