Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Jim Rogers Right on Farming Over Finance in the Auld Sod

For several years, former co-founder of the Quantum Fund Jim Rogers has preached that farming and not finance was one of the great fields for a young person to enter. Bloomberg.com is now reporting that he has been proven correct in post-crash Ireland:

At Bank of America Corp., David Farrell spent his day taking calls from credit-card customers in Ireland. Now, he’s learning to sow seeds to escape the worst recession in the country’s modern history.

The 40-year-old is among a growing number of Irish workers returning to rural pursuits after the end of an economic boom that turned farmers into property developers. The group that runs Farrell’s college program in Dublin’s Botanic Gardens turned away 250 students seeking places in its agriculture- related courses last month because they were full. . .

“Farmers have become a respected profession again,” said Power, the economist. He comes from a farm in Waterford in southeast Ireland and chairs Love Irish Food, a group promoting local produce. “And there’s nothing else out there.”

That return to roots is being smoothed by a decline in the price of land. Developers pushed up prices to more than 58,400 euros ($81,140) a hectare in 2006, the highest in Europe, according to the National Institute for Regional and Spatial Analysis, citing data from property agents Savills Plc.

Last year, land prices around Dublin declined by 57 percent. The government said last month the cost of bailing out the banks may rise to as much as 50 billion euros, the equivalent to a third of gross domestic product.

“Builders, developers, architects, solicitors, they all wanted the 30 acres with a pony,” according to Bryan. “That totally inflated the price of agricultural land.”

Will what's happening in Ireland stay in Ireland?

Maybe not. Food is, after all, more important than printing press "money".

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