Exim Bank to fund acquisition of farmlands abroad

Indian missions will encourage investors

“As these countries allow ownership to overseas investors, we will fund acquisition of farmlands, especially plantation estates by credit-worthy investors and financially-strong plantation firms,” Exim Bank Chairman and Managing Director TC Venkat Subramanian said, on the margins of a planters’ conference.

Foreign investment
Countries like Mozambique and Madagascar in Africa and Argentina in South America have opened up for overseas investments in the farm sector for growing cash crops, including plantation commodities like coffee, tea and spices.

“China has already made inroads in these countries, with a number of Chinese firms and investors buying large tracts of farm lands for growing a variety of crops for local and overseas markets. Indian planters should explore such opportunities, as the sector has come out of a prolonged cyclical downturn till last year,” Subramanian said.

R Viswanathan, India’s ambassador to Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay, had declared in Chennai recently that Indian missions would assist prospective investors explore buying of farmlands or plantations in South America.

“As a premier export finance institution, we will process investment proposals and estimate the fund required and the risk element involved for us as well as prospective investors,” Subramanian said.

Addressing the 116th annual conference of the United Planters’ Association of Southern India (UPASI), he said proximity to Africa and favourable soil, climate and lower labour costs would make investments in the farm or plantation sector rewarding in the long-term.  

“Though Latin America is far away, access to developed markets in North America and Europe across the Atlantic make investments in these countries a value proposition,” Subramanian told about 600 planters of coffee, tea, rubber and spices, who have gathered here for the two-day annual conference.

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