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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Q&A with Steve Yuzpe of Sprott Resource Corp Discussing Agriculture and Water

New York, NY, Point Roberts, WA - September 18, 2013 ( Water Stocks Newswire), an investor research portal specializing in sector research for independent investors including water and agriculture stocks issues an exclusive interview with Mr. Steve Yuzpe, Chief Financial Officer at Sprott Resource Corp. Mr. Yuzpe provides insight into global trends and opportunities within the sectors.
Where do you see the biggest opportunities in agriculture and can you give us some of the publicly traded companies you like?
A: Steve Yuzpe of Sprott Resource Corp
Sprott Resource Corp. is the private equity group within the Sprott Group of Companies ... so public stocks are not my specialty.
That said, the Ag sectors that we like are fertilizers (especially phosphate), healthy food themes and water
Outside of traditional agriculture companies and related suppliers like seeds, fertilizer and transportation do you see agriculture getting more into technology, for example water management and treatment technologies within the actual umbrella of an Ag company?
A: Steve Yuzpe of Sprott Resource Corp
Yes. I think technology and water management will be very important sub-sectors within the agriculture sector.
Technology: has to be part of the solution to deal with the increase in primary production required to feed the planet in the next 40 years. The population will grow by 40 – 50%, but the global grain and oilseed production will need to increase by 80 – 100%. Technology will impact every aspect of primary production (for example, off the top of my head, seed genetics, variable rate farming, farm machinery (smart, auto-steer seeding units), efficient / secure storage, water extraction, enhanced food preservation, etc.)
Water: 70% of global water use is from agriculture and significantly more water will be required to increase global production. Improvements in technology, awareness and conservation are all part of the solution. There is absolutely no substitute for water at any price.
How do you see the global eating trends of organic, vegetarian and vegan impacting agriculture, for an example the growing shift from sugar to alternatives like stevia?
A: Steve Yuzpe of Sprott Resource Corp
The trend in wealthy countries is an increase in 'healthy diets' ... I think the themes of organic, hormone free, antibiotic free, nitrate free, grass fed, etc. are poised to gain mindshare of consumers, which should lead to investment opportunities.
I have read that countries in the Middle East and China have bought up agricultural lands with water rights globally in anticipation of drought and bigger issues in food supplies from climate change. How will that impact the global picture long term?
A: Steve Yuzpe of Sprott Resource Corp
The counties you mention have to deal with the very real threats of food security and food inflation. The rise in commodity prices has already contributed to the overthrow of regimes in the Middle East and in the last 5-years has led to riots across from Bahrain all the way to Morocco and is driving up costs in China and India.
The way that water is priced and managed globally leads us to believe that localized water shortages are inevitable. As mentioned above, Canada is lucky that we have significant water resources.
Opportunities exist because agriculture is facing serious issues in the near and long-term. We will likely solve some of the issues we are facing, but I don’t see how we can solve them all.
The long-term impact is tough to predict. All over the world there has been a strong pushback against foreign buyers of farmland.
Are you looking at South American opportunities and if so where? For example I published an article from another writer recently entitled “It’s a good time to buy land in Argentina”, based on falling coffee and sugar prices .
A: Steve Yuzpe of Sprott Resource Corp
We like certain jurisdictions in South America and would definitely avoid others. Our investment style considers geopolitical risk, currency risk, etc., in addition to return profile of the investment. For example, we have a large position in Union Agriculture Group, a large farming operation in Uruguay. We also have a large position in Stonegate Agricom, which has a phosphate deposit in Peru.
What will be the driving force to get more investors into agriculture and water? Do you think like a lot of other sectors, that it will be event driven (water shortages, drought, and contamination) or simply pocket book related as prices rise?
A: Steve Yuzpe of Sprott Resource Corp
The agriculture segment is much smaller than other investment sectors. To bring more investors into the sector, we also need to build and develop more companies and products to invest in.
It could legitimately be from either event driven or market driven (inflation protection) event, but likely it is from a linked event. A geopolitical or production crisis (weather, etc.) would start prices to rise and fear and greed would exacerbate the price moves.
Where do you think Canada fits into the global market?
A: Steve Yuzpe of Sprott Resource Corp
Long term, Canada has a very important role to play in primary food production ... a large arable land base, already a net exporter of production (with a small population, so little chance that production will be held back from export in a food crisis), significant water resources, geopolitical stability, infrastructure is in place, experienced farmers and a system of strong food safety standards.
About Steve Yuzpe, Chief Financial Officer
Mr. Yuzpe has over 10 years of financial administration management experience with public and private corporations. Over his career, Mr. Yuzpe has developed specific expertise in financial and internal reporting, strategic development and business planning, corporate governance, investor relations, regulatory compliance, treasury, financings and restructurings. Since 2009, Mr. Yuzpe has served as the Chief Financial Officer of Sprott Resource Corp., and is currently the chairman of One Earth Farms Corp., as well as a director of One Earth Oil and Gas Inc. Mr. Yuzpe has also been involved with Street Kids International, a charity focused on youth at risk, as the Treasurer, member of the Executive Committee and Board of Directors for more than 10 years. He was also a founding board member of Inroads to Agriculture Institute, an organization whose mission is to help Aboriginal people secure full time employment in the agricultural industry through training and employment support. Mr. Yuzpe holds a Bachelor of Science, Engineering (Mechanical) degree from Queen’s University along with the Professional Engineering designation (P.Eng.) and a Masters in Business Administration from the Richard Ivey School of Business in London, Ontario. Mr. Yuzpe is also a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) charter holder.
About Sprott Resource Corp.
Sprott Resource Corp. invests and operates through its subsidiaries in the natural resource sector. We currently have investments and operations in oil and gas, energy, agriculture and agricultural nutrients, as well as a large position in physical gold bullion. We take an active role in the companies in which we invest. We are dedicated to generating consistently superior returns on capital for our shareholders, while focusing on risk management and real wealth preservation. We seek to accomplish these objectives by acquiring or starting attractive businesses at the right time, growing this value organically or through accretive acquisitions and by maintaining financial flexibility to be responsive to the needs of our businesses and to capitalize on new opportunities.
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