New Zealand: MyFarm turns to fruit investments

New Zealand's largest rural investment syndicator MyFarm Investments is moving away from its dairy farming origins. It is seeking future growth to come from smaller, overlooked areas, such as fruit.

The rural investment firm, founded in 1990, initially invested in dairy farms which it syndicated to investors. Since then it has moved into sheep and beef farming, horticulture and mussel farming, now with more than $500 million of rural assets under its management.

The company, however, expects its dairy investments to shrink as farms are sold when investments mature. According to Chief executive Andrew Watters, horticulture is expected to produce cash returns of up to 7 - 15 percent, which is generally more than pastoral farm investments.

According to, MyFarm has moved outside its core skill set into permanent crops like kiwifruit, pipfruit, viticulture and other types of food production such as mussel farming - where it stepped back from day-to-day management and instead partnered with operators.

He said the company was eyeing new investments in previously overlooked industries which were relatively small but fast growing. "There's quite a bit to look at and be excited about," he said.

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