Farmers will be driving Lamborghinis, investor tells NFU Conference

The best business opportunities over the next few decades will be in agriculture, author and Wall Street investor Jim Rogers told the NFU conference 2014.

The American financer, who has circled the globe on his motorbike and spoke wearing a bowtie and dollar-bill braces, said the dominance of financial services in the economy was coming to an end, just as agriculture emerges from a thirty-year period of falling prices and farmer numbers.

He said global food inventories were at historic lows but this food security challenges made farming a profitable industry with huge potential.

Agriculture is now going to be a terribly exciting place to work,” Mr Rogers said. “The City of London will be in decline. Wall Street will be in decline for a long time.”

“I tell brokers they will soon be driving taxis. And, if they were smart they will be driving tractors, because the farmers will be driving Lamborghinis in the future.”

Mr Rogers said the next century would belong to the Chinese who called themselves Communists but were “among the best capitalists in the world”.

More on this: Chinese opportunities for food producers

Agriculture should equip itself with the skills to trade and compete with the new Asian superpowers, he said.

Seven years ago Mr Rogers moved his family from New York to Singapore so his children could make the most of the opportunities.

“It is going to change all of us,” he said. “I want my little girl to grow up speaking Mandarin and knowing Asia.

“I think that is the best skill I can give her to prepare for the 21st century.”

Mr Rogers founded investment partnership Quantum Fund after studying at Oxford and Yale, and saw its portfolio grow 4,200% over ten years.

After retiring aged 37, he has worked as a finance professor at Columbia University, appeared as national media commentator and broken three world records for round-the-world motorcycle trips.