Check out our FREE food commodity markets bulletin service - AGRIMARKETS - market analysis, prices and daily commentary @Agrimarkets

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


Our Senior Associate Partner, Ted Winston, (see Our Team page on this web site for Ted's profile) has just completed an assignment in Sri Lanka. This successful assistance effort has resulted in expert technical advice delivered to the client and a request for regular visits to follow.

Ted worked with the Nelna Agri Business (NAB) through ACDI/VOCA, (see Note#1 below) an American not-for-profit enterprise that implements a $233,000 sub-award under the USAID Facilitating Economic Growth in Sri Lanka program through the Volunteers for Economic Growth Alliance (VEGA) Leader with Associates mechanism. The prime implementer is the International Executive Service Corps. The program contributes to the economic revitalization of the Northern and Eastern Provinces of Sri Lanka by providing technical services to support workforce development and connect regional economies. 

In 2007 NAB initiated a pilot mango cultivation program with the specialty TJC mango cultivar covering 48 hectares at Embilipitya; TJC mango is a fast growing high yielding variety which is very responsive to flower inducing treatments. This plantation has 8,000 trees ranging from 1 year to 5 years old. The company also acquired 250 ha. land at Buttala in the Moneragala district where they are establishing a 100,000 tree venture – the first large scale planting in Sri Lanka. .

The objective of the assignment was to assist NAB identify and introduce best practices in crop management through mechanized systems of managing and maintaining mango plantations, identify necessary inputs, machinery and equipment to achieve year round production of quality TJC mango for the local and export markets.

Ted demonstrated proper tree training to the project managers and made a series of recommendations covering nutrition, out of season production, pruning and fruit protection and quality. A number of post harvest breakdown issues were identified as an imbalance of calcium/nitrogen, production practices will be altered. He initiated the first version of a “TJC Best Crop Practices Manual” which will now need to be developed further as the plantations develop.

Note#1: FoodWorks is also cooperating with ACDI/VOCA in Zambia via our affiliate, LDA-Zambia

For more information on this post please contact Ted Winston directly on:

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


We are delighted to have formed a strategic partnership with Lifecycle Development Assistance - Zambia.

Zambia is one of the most exciting countries we have been to recently. Bordered by many of the more troublesome African nations, the  country seems like a peaceful haven of democracy and massive economic potential.  Of course copper and tobacco have been, and remain, the mainstays of the economy, but the government is making a concerted effort to tackle infrastructure and diversify the agricultural economy especially in the smallholder sector.

Carl Mallinson of LDA-Zambia looks at tobacco fields
 that the company aims to diversify into food crops
We have allied with LDA-Zambia which is a not-for-profit company set up to bring diversification from tobacco to the large and poor Eastern Province. LDA-Zambia also incorporates Trees For Life, a company that specializes on the propogation of various tree species that are sold to farmers or distributed to charitable or community-based organizations.

We'll provide more information as we begin to work with LDA-Zambia but for the start our focus is on soybean processing - looking at the feasibility for getting a 70 ton/day hexane-based extraction factory back into production. The factory will buy soybeans at a  fair trade price from smallholders and turn them into oil for cooking and protein meal for animal feed.

For more information on LDA-Zambia contact Carl Mallinson on

Tuesday, January 08, 2013


We are delighted to wish everyone a Happy New Year! 

And to mark the occasion we have launched a new study of investment in South-East Asia.  This is a FREE publication - 70 pages of analytical insights - that you can download by clicking on this link:

Agriculture and Agribusiness Investment in South-east Asia

South-east Asia is one of the best investment opportunities in the world when it comes to agriculture and the food industry. The region is one of the most productive agricultural areas of the world, the main source of rice and high value tropical fruits and vegetables together with a growing source of feed materials, fish and meat. 

The purpose of this paper is to provide general information and context. FoodWorks Co. Ltd. is an innovative consulting group of specialists in agribusiness that will provide specific analytical and technical assistance with investment feasibility, planning and implementation for individual clients. 

We look at two main sub-regions, the Greater Mekong (Burma, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam) and the Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines Economic Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA). Singapore is the outstanding business and finance hub for the region as a whole.

We say that the main drivers of economic growth in agriculture and food are:

· Growth of the middle class,

· Increased urbanization with mega cities sucking in particularly the youth,

· Related changes in the quality, quantity and type of foodstuffs, switching from staples to value-added processed food,

· Consequent changes in agriculture and marketing, food supply systems,

· Economic and physical integration along economic growth corridors

· Increased demand for food raw materials from India and China

The most immediate investment possibilities lie in the southern-most areas, especially in Mindanao in the Philippines. More established countries like Malaysia offer smaller, but perhaps more solid niche opportunities. Burma is a longer and higher risk shot but certainly has the greatest growth prospects. Laos and Cambodia are worth a look. We are more nervous of Vietnam and Thailand partly because of governance concerns in the former and because the latter is already so mature in agribusiness.

That said, none of the South-east Asian countries are near their agricultural/food production boundaries. Investors willing to bring new technology and combine it with advanced management and marketing systems in a global context will prosper by being based in the region.

For more information on our work or to comment please do contact