Starving Billions Brighten Outlook for U.S. Agribusiness

November 11, 2007

The prospects in the Third World for U.S. agribusiness have recently drawn much attention from the business press. FORTUNE and FORBES have run lengthy articles on how, as FORBES puts it, "the world's starving billions mean millions for U.S.corporations." Most Americans don't realize that agribusiness (i.e. the sum total of all operations in the manufacture and distribution of agricultural products and supplies) accounted for $271 billion in transactions, employed about one-third of the American labor force, and involved more than 50% of all corporate and agricultural investment. An increasing squeeze of population growth against food production in the Third World has stimulated U.S. producers of food crops, cattle, fertilizers, drugs and food processing equipment to make their moves abroad. Now such household favorites as Campbell, Beech-Nut, Borden, General Foods, Heinz, Green Giant, General Mills, National Dairy, and Pepsi along with such industrial giants as American Cyanimid, Cities Service (oil), Continental Oil, John Deere, W. R. Grace, International Harvester, Olin-Mathieson and Upjohn are increasing overseas agribusiness operations. Their activities have been facilitated by the foreign aid and economic development funds that are supposed to be helping others to help themselves.' An aid program is at work here, to be sure. But it is an aid program in which the actual beneficiaries are generally overseas extensions of U.S. corporations. According to the investment house of Merrill, Lynch, Pierce, Fenner and Smith*, U.S. companies which are in a position to take advantage of foreign aid subsidies are showing signs of tremendous growth.

FOOD AND THE WORLD'S NEEDS, a 32 page resume' available free on request from Merrill, Lynch, Pierce, Fenner and Smith, Inc., 320 Park Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10022.

Tags: agribusiness, third world expansion

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