I wrote a piece in Saturday’s FT on investing in farmland based on the latest Savills agricultural land survey which showed that farmland values have increased by 134 per cent in the past ten years.
In the piece I mentioned a couple of schemes that were currently available to people interested in getting involved, but from the number of emails I had this morning about new ways investors can get on board, it seems investing in farmland could become theme of the month.
One of the new investments I heard about today, is the Matrix UK Farming LLP which is seeking to raise £10m, which will be used by the partnership to acquire agricultural land in the UK and to establish its farming business. This partnership will be set up in such a way as to qualify for agricultural property relief from UK inheritance tax.
But a different way to get involved in this sector is through a new Enterprise Investment Scheme, launching this week, called the Countrywide Farm Shops PLC, backed by Cairneagle Associates, which aims to raise up to £2m this year to start a chain of branded farm shops.
Gordon Leatherdale, who is setting up this EIS says:
The market for farm shop retail and food service is growing unabated, with recent research indicating that 37 per cent of shoppers want to buy more local food by 2012 and 20 per cent of shoppers want a farm shop established nearby.
I expect we will see more of these schemes popping up in the coming months as people look for ways to shelter their capital from rising taxes. Watch this space