According to the World Bank, agricultural production must increase by 70% by the year 2050. Why? The primary reason is demographic – there will be more people in the future and they will want something to eat. The second reason is consumption – more people are switching to meat-based diets, especially in Asia. The third reason is bio-fuels.
Result? A global land grab (AKA “long soil”). The value of land is set to increase dramatically in the future, especially in Africa and Latin America. But buyers beware. Land isn’t just another commodity. Land is tied up with notions of nationalism. It is semi-sacred in most regions.
Expect purchases of land by foreign nations (especially sovereign wealth funds) to soar over the coming years but also expect protectionist backlashes.