Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Massively Underpriced Post-Soviet Agriculture Market Promises Huge Returns

“AG Chat” Explores Eastern Europe's Enormous Investment Potential

For nearly 20 years, George Rohr and his partners have been gradually, meticulously nudging a sleeping giant—and cultivating what may be the most fertile agriculture investment opportunity on the planet.

Shortly after the fall of the Soviet Union, NCH Capital (Rohr is co-founder and president) began investing in Russia, Ukraine and post-Soviet Eastern Europe, whose black-earth belt ranks among the world’s greatest—and least optimized—agricultural resources.

“There is a massive shortage of capital that prevails across asset classes, across the geography and across eleven time zones,” said Rohr, who noted NCH has concentrated on bringing “some of the most productive farmland in the world back into productive capacity.”

NCH is today one of the largest Western investors of institutional capital in farmland and agribusiness assets in the region. Rohr says the quality of these assets wasn't the only attraction; they’re also ridiculously undervalued.

Before the Bolsheviks, this land constituted the Old World’s breadbasket. And after being mismanaged and relatively neglected for the better part of the 20th Century under the Soviets, Rohr says the new, progressive governments under whose stewardship this agricultural treasure fell opened the door to Western investors.

But Western investors have been slow to throw in, in cases preferring to cast lots with other emerging markets like Brazil and China—in no small measure due to innacuracies perpetuated by Western media, according to Rohr.

Consequently, NCH has been able—by direct purchase or lease—to acquire, aggregate and operationalize roughly 700,000 hectares of prime farmland in Russia, Ukraine and other Eastern European countries at a fraction of their actual value.

In this candid “Ag Chat” interview, George Rohr will:

• Outline NCH's approach to agriculture investment in Russia, Ukraine and Eastern Europe

• Provide an overview of infrastructure and transport issues

• Address misconceptions with regard to property rights, transparency, governance, etc. facing prospective investors, and much more...

“You are going to see increasing diversification in [Russia and Ukraine] away from natural gas, oil and other harder natural resources as a source of foreign revenue toward agricultural commodities. This sector really is the sleeping giant for both countries,” said Rohr.

“There are great returns to be made from riding the elevator from the fourth subbasement to the ground floor,” he added, noting the market is maturing, and opportunities like this don't come often or last forever.

Listen to Part 1.

Download a transcript of Part 1.

Listen to Part 2.

Download a transcript of Part 2.

Editor’s note: “Ag Chat” is produced by the AG 2.0 Global Investments Conference scheduled November 7-8, 2011 in Toronto, Canada.

For more information or to register, please visit

If you would like to hear more from George Rohr, he will also be featured at the 20th Annual Public Fund Boards Forum December 11-13 in New Orleans. Click here for details.

Ag Chat is an executive interview series featuring the business experts, investors and entrepreneurs at the forefront of sustainable agriculture. Each episode explores the trends, technologies and drivers shaping the world of sustainable agriculture today.

Marc Dresner works closely with IBC Life Sciences as a communication lead. He is the former executive editor of Research Business Report, a confidential newsletter for the marketing research industry. He may be reached at Follow him @mdrezz.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Last Chance to Save On the Agriculture 2.0 Global Investments & Water 2.0 Summit

We were just taking a look at the Agriculture 2.0 Global Investments conference and the Water 2.0 Investment Summit attendee list and we were surprised not to see your company represented. Just a reminder that this Friday, October 7, is your final chance to save up to $300 on your registration for both events.

Don’t miss out your chance to build your ag portfolio, strengthen your knowledge make real connections with individuals from the following companies:
Agri Neo
Agriculture & AgriFood Canada
Agriculture Financial Services
Albourne Partners
Ambika Group
Apsara Capital LLP
Assiniboia Capital
Avac Limited
Avalon Capital Group
Avrio Ventures
Banyan Water
Bayer CropScience
Berwind Private Equity
Best Tech Brands LLC
Bioenterprise Corporation
Boenning Scattergood
Bonnefield Financial
Bunge Ltd
Burcon Canada Pension Plan Investment Board
Cirrus Partners
Cleantech Group Converted Organics
CPP Investment Board
Cultivian Ventures
Deutsche Bank
Dow Agrosciences
Dow Chemical Company
Eastern Illinois University Foundation
Ecomundi Ventures
Emerald Technology Ventures
Emergent Asset Management Ltd
Enterprise Saskatchean
Evergreen Bio ceuticals
Farm Credit Canada Sustainable
Food Lab Syngenta
Foreign Affairs Canada
General Mills
Global Finance GR
Global Thematic Partners
Greenrock Asset Management
groPartners Farm & Land Management
Growth5 Llc
GSF Capital Hendrick Agrifoods
IBM Big Green Innovations
Industrial Development Corporation
Israel Cleantech Ventures
Joanne Moores
John Todd Ecological Design
Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
Land Masses
Marrone Bio Innovations
Meidlinger Partners, LLC
Ned Goodman Investment Counsel
NGP Global Adaptation Partners
O2 Environmental
Ontario Ministry of Agriculture
Parthenon Capital
Pineridge Foods
PlantForm Corporation
RBC Capital Markets
Sail Ventures
Soy 20/20
Sprott Asset Management LP
Summit Global
True North Venture Partners
Truetrac Llc
UC Regents University of California
Virgin Green Fund
Vive Nano Inc
Wake Forest University
Water Asset Management LLC
Welcome Trust
Wellington west
World Bank
WWF Smartgear
XPV Capital  

To see the full agenda for Agriculture 2.0 Global Investments click here

To see the full agenda for Water 2.0 click here

Register today and gain critical insight into responsible real assets investments worldwide.