Industry Archives: Agriculture


Hydroponic Vegetable Project in the Philippines

The Project consists of the development of up to ten hydroponic vegetable plants using advanced equipment from Japan at a cost of about USD 2m each. Equity and/or debt financing of up to USD 25m is being sought for the Project.

The use of hybrid hydroponics equipment based upon the technology of advanced nations (Japan) is available, and its use would contribute to the improvement for the the potential of agriculture in the Philippines, regional vitalization, and employment development. Since a hydroponics enterprise can exist almost anywhere, in agriculture areas or urban, there is the possibility to extend agriculture into urban areas, and decrease the regional gap between agriculture areas and the business district. It also enables people who live in urban areas to choose agriculture for work.

Although the Philippines is globally famous for production of fruits (banana, mango, pineapple), there is very little production of vegetables. The reason is related to climate and soil. Since the Philippines has a subtropical climate, it is not suitable for cultivation of soil crops. Also the Philippines has much soil resulting from volcanic ash fall deposits, and there is no nutrition in soil. This means that the crops that can be grown are restricted. In recent years, the the use of hydroponics has increased, but vegetable supply still depends mostly on import. Green-leaf vegetables are rarely found except in expensive restaurants and hotels. The Project aims to supply fresh vegetables fresh to the average citizen, and safely through a hydroponics.

Market Strategy
The Project plans the use of hydroponics plants using Japanese technology, the world’s leading source for such equipment. They produce good vegetable quality with low agrochemical input. Prospects for vegetable sales include supermarkets, restaurants, and a street markets. The Project plans to contract with brokers, wholesale houses or a trading companiesfor distribution.

Market Research
In the Philippines, the main vegetables are cassava which occupies about 34% of cultivation area, sweet potato with 20%, eggplant (3.4%), yumpotato (3.0%), tomato (2.8%), onion (1.6%), and asparagus (0.4%). There is very little production of green leaf vegetables in the Philippines. Therefore, Since almost all people are poor in the Philippines, they cannot eat green leaf vegetables. In Philippines, agriculture has been performed well for many years. Its banana, mango, and pineapple plantations are famous in the world. However, the level of agricultural technology level is low, there is inconsistency of water management, soils are mainly volcanic ash, and there is a shortage of manure and agricultural chemicals. In recent years, agriculture has been improving little by little with support of advanced nations. There are hydroponics businesses but they are generally small scale and productivity is not good.

Kats Yakama / COO & CFO & Executive Producer
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KKR invests $100 million in arid climate agriculture firm

SYDNEY, Dec 4 (Reuters) – Private equity firm KKR & Co has invested about $100 million in UK-based agribusiness Sundrop Farms Holding Ltd, which plans to use solar panels and sea water to grow vegetables in a vast greenhouse in Australia’s driest state. The funds would allow Sundrop to scale up its existing operation with the construction of a 20-hectare (50-acre) greenhouse in South Australia that will produce more than 15,000 tons of vegetables a year, Sundrop and KKR said in a statement.

The two firms aimed to develop a hub for innovative techniques for arid climate agriculture, and KKR’s investment would also support Sundrop’s plans to expand into the Middle East, North America and other markets. “We grow food where land is too arid for farming, fresh water is in short supply and domestic food security is a concern,” said Philipp Saumweber, chief executive of Sundrop Farms.

Sundrop’s technology uses solar power to desalinate seawater, generate heat and produce electricity at its facility in Port Augusta, 300 km (185 miles) north of the state capital Adelaide.

The investment comes just a day after the United Nations said 2014 is on course to be the hottest year on record.

Sundrop, which will also receive some state government funding, said separately it has signed a 10-year contract to supply Australia supermarket operator Coles with truss tomatoes from 2016.

KKR did not give the size of its investment, but a person familiar with the details said the financial backing is worth about $100 million.

“KKR looks to invest in and partner with companies that provide solutions to environmental and societal challenges,” KKR Australia head Justin Reizes said in the statement.

KKR’s latest deal comes from its $6 billion Asia dedicated fund, which closed last year.

Leighton Holdings said it has been awarded the construction contract.

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Eric Schmidt’s Farm2050 Collective Will Back Agriculture Tech To Feed Earth’s Growing Population

We’ll need to produce 70% more food by 2050 to sustain a world population expected to grow to 10 billion. Yet agriculture startups struggle to get the funding, manufacturing, and test facilities needed to build tech that could boost food production. To fix that disconnect, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors and Flextronics Lab IX today launched Farm2050, a collective that will support AgTech startups with capital, design, manufacturing, and test farms to try out their inventions.

The Farm2050 partnership includes Google, DuPont, Agco, UTC’s Sensitech, and 3D Robotics. Flextronics’ Head of Lab IX Lior Susan tells me “It’s still not sexy to do agriculture. You don’t see IPOs and big acquisitions that pull Sand Hill into the game.” That’s why Farm2050 is necessary to foster an AgTech ecosystem.
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KKR Buys Rose Farm in First Africa Deal

Wall Street Journal June 4, 2014
LONDON — The Deal is the Private Equity Firm’s First Foray in Africa
For private-equity giant KKR & Co., a debut investment in Africa smells of sweetheart roses. Afriflora is an Ethiopian company that grows about 730 million of the flowers a year for export to Europe, making it a significant player in the east African country’s blossoming cut flower export industry. KKR is investing about $200 million from its $6.2 billion European fund to buy a stake in the company, according to a person…
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TMT Investments invests €100,000 in Estonian farm management solution

East-West Digital News
TMT Investments, a UK-headquartered venture fund backed by Russian businessmen, announced today the completion of a €100,000 investment in WeatherMe OÜ, a Tallin, Estonia based startup that develops farm management solutions under the VitaFields brand.
The VitalFields mobile and web-based software application is helping farmers address several sensitive issues, from plant disease and growth phase modelling, to tracking climatic patterns (with an analysis of farmers’ risks), to farm management, including farm activity planning, stock management and P&L reports.
The solution was designed “with the help of industry scientists” and uses “machine learning algorithms,” the fund underscores.
VitalFields also plans to become a valuable analytical tool, enabling farmers to become “even more efficient based on the knowledge accumulated from similar farms.”
TMT, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange, has recently invested in software publisher rollApp, self-service video network Virool, mobile advertising network Adinch, and online service for publishers Graphicly. Its latest investment, in September this year, went to US software publisher Pipedrive.
This story first appeared in East-West Digital News, a leading online resource on Russian digital industries.

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Moringa Fund, an Agroforestry Sector Investment Vehicle, Reaches First Close

Africa AM Magazine 22 August 2013
Financial services provider La Compagnie Benjamin de Rothschild (CBR), forest company ONF International and the Moringa Partnership have announced a first close over €50m ($66.8m) of the Moringa Fund. Continue Reading →

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ADM wins Korean approval for GrainCorp deal, needs China

Archer Daniels Midland Co said on Wednesday that South Korea had cleared the grain trader’s takeover of GrainCorp Ltd, leaving China and Australia as the last two countries that need to approve Continue Reading →

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Sandbox teams up on a $150 million ag-tech fund

The founders of Sandbox Industries are going back to their roots, with a huge venture fund aimed at agriculture and food technologies. Continue Reading →

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UCHC Completes Acquisition of 51% of Shaanxi Prosperous Agriculture

The Wall Street Journal 30 June 2013
SHENZHEN, China, June 30, 2013 Uni Core Holdings Corporation (OTC Bulletin Board: “UCHC”), a Hong Kong based holding company, announces today that its acquisition of 51% of Shaanxi Prosperous Agriculture Co. Continue Reading →

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