Agriculture has long been a topic of interest and will continue due to the necessity of
farming to supply a basic fundamental need – food. Farming is considered a stable economic
activity as it provides products, jobs, and supplies to the local community as well as supporting
the global infrastructure. The recent global economic conditions have caused an array of
structural changes within the global infrastructure. These structure changes have directly
impacted banking institutions, housing, lending processes, farming sectors, and privatization.
The declining housing market, corrupt banking/financial institutions, and decline in stable
investments have increased the need to find economically viable ways to invest. Investors look
at markets for sustainability and lucrative return on investments (ROI) while attempting to
minimize risks. Naturally – food and water have become commodities but investors are still
interested in returns and farming losses are often offset by federal subsidies and crop insurance
(Lynch & Bjerga, 2013). Corporate investment, government regulations, and privatization
become issues while trying to improve ROI. The recent water wars are evidence of control
issues and an attempt to purchase natural resources. Investors are now looking at ways to
promote diversity and sustainability to their clients while countries are grappling to ensure food
security. Farmland investments involving large-scale acquisitions are lucrative for investors.
Large-scale acquisitions of farmland in Africa, Latin America, Central Asia and Southeast Asia
are now being sought by international investors and have garnered global attention (Cotula,
Vermeulen, Leonard, & Keely, 2009). Farming, agriculture, and food security have become hot
topics. In 1935, the number of farms in the United States peaked at 6.8 million (NA1, 2013).
Food demand has increased and food security is still a priority for all countries. Farming is
becoming more of a business venture and food is a commodity. Agriculture has gravitated
toward “agribusiness” and now faces powerful economic shifts (“Agribusiness,” n.d.).
Agribusiness stocks caused Standard & Poor’s to launch the S&P Global Index in 2008
comprised of 24 of the largest publicly traded agribusiness companies (Clark, Detre, D'Antoni, &
Zapata, 2012). Agribusiness may be the next economic boom or bust as farming becomes part
of an investment strategy.
A. Farming and Agribusiness
The small family-owned farm is essentially disappearing and being replaced by
large-scale mechanization, improved crop varieties, commercial fertilizers, and
pesticides (“Demographics,” 2013). Agriculture products demand has increased
while the number of farmers declined, being replaced by larger, more business
like farms – referred to as Agribusiness. Agribusiness is referred to as an applied
field of study integrating the principles of economics, business and management.
It involves solving...