Rogers explained that the price of agricultural commodities “has to go much, much higher or we are not going to have any food at any price”.
In the 1970s Rogers co-founded the Quantum Fund, which invested in numerous investment vehicles, including commodity futures, and experienced superior returns over 10 years, leading to his “retirement” before age 40. He is a regular commentator and columnist in various television and print media dealing with economic and world affairs.
In the interview Rogers noted that farming will once again “be one of the great areas of the world economy” because of higher commodity prices, economies of scale and improved technology.
He said that he currently has significant investments in agriculture and commodities.
“Concerns around the earth’s ability to nourish a population of 6 billion people, expected to rise to 9 billion by 2050, are increasingly abundant. According to the UN’s FAO, food production will have to increase by 70% to feed the globe’s larger, more urbanised, and more affluent population, by 2050,” said Standard Bank analyst Simon Freemantle in a report last year.
“Two recent, and dramatic, global food price hikes have culminated in a substantial reconfiguration of global perceptions around food security. While efforts to control such wild fluctuations are under way (principally in the manner in which data is shared), food, and the means to produce it, is being viewed as the “new oil” of the 21st century,” Freemantle added.
How you can invest in agriculture
So how can you invest in the agricultural industry? The obvious way is to get your hands dirty and become a farmer. “The very best way is to go and become a farmer … Buy farmland and become a farmer, because then you are going to get huge paybacks,” said Rogers.
Entrepreneurs can also start companies that provide inputs and equipment – such as seed, fertiliser and machinery – to the agricultural sector.
According to Rogers there are also opportunities to open businesses such as restaurants and car dealerships in farming areas. “If you don’t want to go into the fields … open a chain of restaurants in [America’s] Midwest or in the outback of Australia, or get a Lamborghini dealership in Oklahoma or in Nebraska because farmers are going to be driving the Lamborghinis; stock brokers are going to be driving tractors.”
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