Asia Plantation Capital have this week announced the launch of a new socially responsible Agroforestry income plan, which as well as offering future returns provides fixed annual income supported by bank guarantee, making it a unique opportunity.
Online PR News – 05-August-2010 – – Asia Plantation Capital have been developing and acquiring plantations in the Asia region for several years, with plantations in Sri Lanka and Thailand and expansion into Africa. This allows Asia Plantation Capital to take advantage of the commercial viability of plantations in the region, and the global recession bucking trends of the Asian powerhouse economies.
Along with established forestry species such as teak and mahogany, Asia Plantation Capital have been researching market demand for forestry based biomass, as well as the ideal tree species to fuel the worlds growing global demand for renewable energy production. Demand for biomass has been growing steadily for the last decade, and according to Mckinsey research is set to grow at an exponential rate over the next 20 years. In particular the European Union have set a target that by 2015 20% of energy needs must be supplied from renewable sources. This demand is putting further pressure on already dwindling natural forestry resources at a time when everybody recognises the importance of natural forest canopies in maintaining a healthy low carbon environment. In Africa the number of years left before the natural forest canopy disappears is estimated to be approximately 47.
Over the last few years, forestry as an investment alternative has now emerged into the wider market, it previously being the exclusive reserve of large private institutions, investment banks and high net-worth individuals. Forestry is now globally becoming a mainstream investment due to its’ historic proven ability to provide consistent annual returns, outperforming stocks, bonds, property and commodities. Link this investment performance to the fact that if forestry is managed in a sustainable manner it can be extremely beneficial to the environment as well as supporting local communities financially in the some of the world’s most fragile developing economies makes forestry a unique and socially responsible investment.
Asia Plantation Capital have developed a mixed agroforestry investment which comprises of new teak plantings interplanted with gliricidia and existing teak trees on separate estates which are already established as part of a combined unit. This provides a forestry investment unit in one structure which provides both annual income from the first year with longer term returns from the sale and harvest of teak from the seventh year. Gliricidia was recognised over 20 years ago as the best source of biomass in tropical countries when interplanted, and also provides a natural source of nutrients to the other species around it. In 2005, the Sri Lankan Government announced gliricidia as the fourth most important plantation crop in the country as a result of a joint research programme conducted by the European Union and the Sri Lanka Ministry of Science.
Teak trees grow incredibly well alongside gliricidia – in fact on existing established estates belonging to Asia Plantation Capital, Teak trees are growing significantly better when interplanted with gliricidia which puts nitrogen and other nutrients into the soil through its roots; creating an organic support system. Gliricidia trees are harvested annually without being felled, but by pruning the fast growing branches for processing into biomass fuel wood. Additionally the leaves of the gliricidia tree are processed into high protein animal feeds and organic fertilisers, making every part of the gliricidia tree commercially viable and environmentally friendly. The financial performance of gliricidia has proven to be so successful that in the first few years of growth Asia Plantation Capital have arranged to provide an annual income to investors of 5%, guaranteed by a commercial bank. This annual income runs alongside the income from the harvest of established teak trees and newly planted teak trees over a 7 to 20 year cycle, which means returns of 15% to 20% annually are a realistic proposition.
Asia Plantation Capital has emerged as one of Sri Lanka’s most successful plantation operators over recent years and has successfully acquired and established teak agroforestry plantations in Thailand and Africa. Asia Plantation Capital operates the largest, most scientifically advanced teak plantations in the region and possibly the world, working closely with some of the foremost experts in the field such as Dr. Paiyaboola, President of Thai Orchids - the world’s largest producer of teak forestry tissue culture technology. Due to Asia Plantation Capital’s unparalleled expertise in this field and track record of success, they have recently been appointed as one of the advisors to The Africasia Funds - a series of socially responsible funds that include combined forestry, farming and renewable energy which are being launched alongside a unique SRI hedge structure which secures investors returns against AAA rated investment bonds into emerging market economies, forming the most secure sustainable SRI compliant fund structure on the market.
Asia Plantation Capital is based in Singapore and is marketed by Plantation Capital Plc. in the UK.
The Teak Agroforestry projects are currently only available in Asia, and are being launched in the UK in September by an FSA approved promoter.