Investing in Novel Agriculture Production Systems

Soil-based agriculture has dominated food production for tens of thousands of years. In recent years, so-called "novel farming systems" have become more prevalent. Many of these farming methods -- often involving Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) -- are capital intensive to start-up. Funding for these projects can be hard to come by from traditional agriculture lending sources who do not understand how to underwrite them. But for investors who want to play a role in the future of global food production, CEA projects can offer higher risk-adjusted returns. According to AgFunder's 2017 "AgriFood Tech" report, investments in novel farming systems jumped 223% from the previous year. Some examples of novel farming systems are described below.

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Ghana: the New Frontier in Agriculture Investing

Ghana's $45 billion economy is the seventh biggest in sub-Saharan Africa and according to World Bank projections, will expand by 8.3% this year.  This rise gives the small West African country the fastest growth rate on the continent. In order to improve the investment climate for international investors, Ghana has implemented several ambitious reforms. To date, these efforts are paying off as Ghana was ranked the best place for doing business in West Africa, ahead of Nigeria and Cote d’Ivoire, according to the 2017 Ease of Doing Business Report.Ghana is one of the most politically stable countries in West Africa and has been a multiparty democracy since 1992. The country ranks 26th globally and 2nd in Africa in the 2016 World Press Freedom Index.

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