Agcapita is a Calgary-based fund company that invests in agricultural farmland in Saskatchewan. Stephen Johnston, a partner with the firm, says it is among the largest of a handful of investment firms offering Canadian retail investors access to farmland investment, and it’s the only RRSP eligible farmland fund in Canada. While demand for farmland is high, Mr. Johnston says Canadian investment rules prohibit non-residents and publicly traded firms from owning farmland in Canada, and has kept investment funds to a small fraction of the overall investment in agricultural land, he says.
“Agricultural investment funds make up only about $200-million of more than $150-billion in farmland real estate in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta,” he says. “My estimate is that funds own no more than 0.1 per cent to 0.2 per cent of all the farmland Western Canada so they are a very small component of the overall market.” While interest from investors is growing, farmers seeking to take advantage of higher crop prices are primarily driving prices upward in Canada, Mr. Johnston says.