I’ve received good news from a developer I’ve been working with…
It’s in regards to the aquaponics project in Thailand that we’ve been reporting on for the past 18 months.
I am happy to report that the first crop payments to early Live and Invest Overseas investors were just sent out to investors last month.
Even better, the revenues are about 5% better than the original projections…
However, the developer believes he is going to be able to generate even better above-projected revenues, thanks to recent developments from the aquaculture R&D his farm management company is doing.
Right now the farm management team is testing crayfish instead of tilapia, and the results have been positive. The crayfish require less food and generate even greater revenues. Assuming the results continue and can be replicated, that means higher future returns for owners.
The hydroponics crops to date have been a variety of lettuces, and every harvest so far has been pre-sold. The demand for lettuce from restaurants and hotels in Chiang Mai has exceeded the farm manager’s expectation. He hasn’t even been able to try to start on the direct-to-market (i.e. retail) channels yet.
Even after the greenhouses under construction right now are finished and producing, harvests won’t keep up with the buying demand already lined up.
What Is Aquaponics? How Does It Work?
The aquaponics concept is straightforward. You grow fish (or crayfish… or shrimp) in a large tank and circulate the water from the tank to the hydroponic tables where the lettuce (or other leafy greens) are simultaneously being grown.
It’s incredibly efficient, and it’s easier to make the harvests organic and high-quality thanks to the lack of pests and dirt.
Of course, to get from concept to reality you need a fair amount of knowledge and experience… which is why the farm management company is working with some of the most experienced aquaculture experts in Thailand and the local university agriculture department.
Water temperature, nutrient balances for both the fish and the lettuce, and greenhouse temperature are just three of the factors that need constant monitoring. These systems aren’t the backyard setups you can buy in your local gourmet kitchen shop. Serious science is at work.
Each greenhouse holds 20 systems, and each system has 1,320 grow holes for lettuce. That’s a lot of lettuce from each greenhouse, but, again, it’s not enough to meet current demand… especially in the hot months of the dry season, when regular farmers can’t grow lettuce because it’s simply too hot and too dry.
For the system owner the opportunity is, likewise, straightforward…
You buy the system, the developer installs the system in one of his greenhouses, and then the farm management company manages the crops, the harvests, and the sale of the produce. It’s entirely turnkey.
Basically, you’re renting your system to the farm management company for a share of the production.
How Much Does It Cost To Invest? What Are The Returns?
As an owner, you get diversification in the forms both of currency (the production is sold in Thai baht) and of economy (unless you’re earning your living in Thailand at the moment).
You get a payout that coincides with the fish harvests, which are twice a year.
Lettuce is harvested every three weeks… or about 18 times a year. That means you can change lettuce types to meet specific demands from restaurant and hotel buyers throughout the year.
A single system—all in—costs US$31,000.
The projected yield during the first year of operation is right at 10%… with yields increasing as the farm manager makes adjustments to the production (for example, switching to higher-value crops such as crayfish). The IRR (internal rate of return) over the 20 years projected is 15%.
If you are looking for quick-starting cash flow to help supplement your portfolio or retirement, turnkey agriculture profits like these are one of the best possible options. It amounts to a natural inflation hedge… and everyone needs to eat.
And there are more everyones every day.
In Thailand, specifically, as the middle class that demands higher quality and healthier foods grows and the number of travelers to the country demanding quality produce increases, the demand for quality lettuce will continue to expand.
This is your chance to position yourself to profit and enjoy cash flow from those market fundamentals.