Bulgaria’s farm sector has started to look up after years of under-investment and fragmentation, with export-oriented agro-industry doing well and smaller farms seeing opportunities to sell quality produce abroad. But damage wreaked during the 1990s is still far from repaired, holding the country’s farmers back from achieving their potential. Continue reading »
As a seasoning, salt goes well with rice. In many developing countries, poor families who cannot afford any dish at all sometimes eat boiled rice with nothing but a pinch of salt.
But salt in the soil where rice is grown ruins the crop, a problem that is worsening in Asia. Can anything be done? Continue reading »
Africa’s sugar industry will become all the sweeter if predictions about its growth come off.
Edward George, head of soft commodities research at Ecobank, tells beyondbrics he expects that even though domestic demand is rising, Africa will become a net exporter of sugar within seven years if it boosts production as planned, depriving Brazil of a key export market. Continue reading »
Thinking of investing in India? There is one sector you may have overlooked: agriculture.
With its growing population, rising income levels and growing middle class, India has attracted the usual investment suspects of retail, aviation and FMCGs. But although it may not be glamorous and it may be politically complicated, India’s agricultural sector is set to expand fast. Continue reading »
Indian sugar companies are rejoicing after the government finally lifted its curbs on sugar supplies.
India’s food minister, KV Thomas announced on Thursday evening that there will no longer be an obligation on Indian sugar mills to sell their produce to the government at concessional rates and there will no longer be a limit on the quantity they can sell on the open market. Continue reading »
The alphonso mango is known as the “king of fruits” in India. Boxes of the mangoes are presented as gifts to friends and family and – more recently – among corporate clients too.
But the mango man – as the common man is colloquially known in India – may actually get his hands on some mangoes, as the price of alphonsos has halved this season. Continue reading »
The street cleaners of Mumbai will be relieved. The children of Mumbai will be disappointed. And their mothers will be pleased they won’t be left with sniffling infants on Thursday morning.
As the festival of colours is celebrated across India, with a backdrop of severe drought in some states, politicians and celebrities are pleading with the public to play a dry Holi. Continue reading »
It began 20 years ago, carting meat around Lusaka in the back of an ageing Land Rover. Since then, Zambeef has grown into one of the largest companies in Zambia’s booming economy. Now it hopes to replicate its success in west Africa.
The FTSE AIM traded company, whose primary listing is on the Lusaka Stock Exchange, is a curious entity in the modern food industry: a near fully vertically-integrated operation which produces, processes, distributes and retails, all in-house. Continue reading »
World wine producers are crying in their cups. According to the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV), world wine production fell 6 per cent in 2012, to a 37-year low. And smaller grape crops in Argentina, as well as France and Spain, are to blame.
This is bad news for Argentina, where consumers’ love affair with Malbec – at home and abroad – has put the country on the world wine map. Continue reading »
It’s a country struggling to deal with widespread and persistent hunger. Yet India has too much wheat.
As stockpiles fill the country’s storage facilities, a panel of senior ministers will meet on Thursday to decide whether India – the world’s second largest producer of wheat – should increase exports to run down inventories. Continue reading »
India’s cooks like their pepper. So much so, that the country, traditionally one of the world’s main exporters of pepper, has become a net importer of “the king of spices”. Continue reading »
Argentina has an impressive ability, it seems, to bite the hand that feeds it: farming.
It’s an impression reinforced by Rabobank’s latest Argentine agribusiness outlook. Argentina’s farming sector, which makes up nearly 60 per cent of total exports ($47bn in 2012, and that was a bad year because of drought), is a key economic breadwinner, bringing home the dollars that are essential to an economically choppy country still with debt in default and cut off from international capital markets. Continue reading »
The US has this week formally complained that India’s national solar programme, which requires developers to use only domestically-produced modules and cells, contravenes global trade rules.
But far away from the emerging trade dispute, Indian companies and their partners are powering ahead with innovative solar schemes, even if the local content rules restrict the import of foreign solar technology. Take for example, solar-powered greenhouse-generators. Continue reading »
Nigeria’s economy remains hooked on oil revenues, but its government is hoping agriculture might help ween it off. Around Davos this week, president Goodluck Jonathan has been talking up the sector, announcing production increases of 8m tonnes during 2012. This sounds impressive, but behind the numbers lie an array of problems. Continue reading »
To the lengthening list of foreign companies beating a path to Myanmar, add at least two more: Wilmar, one of Asia’s largest agribusinesses, and Cargill, the commodities’ trader.
Wilmar, a Singapore-listed group and the world’s largest processor of palm oil by volume, told beyondbrics it planned to make “significant investments” focusing on rice, fertilisers, sugar and vegetable oil. Cargill told beyondbrics it was “exploring opportunities” in the southeast Asian country for importing and exporting food and livestock feed.
Continue reading »