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Mecardo Blog

Olivia Agar

Olivia Agar

Recent Posts

Don’t cry over split peas

Posted by Olivia Agar on 26 March 2018

Back in December the Indian government imposed a 30 per cent chickpea and lentil tariff on imports, which would affect many Australian growers. As of March 1st, the tariff was hiked up to 60 per cent. The latest rumours are tipping that it may increase again, anywhere up to 100% in coming months. Headlines have cried a crisis on the Australian chickpea and pulse industry at this devastating blow and lost market.

While this is a significant setback to Australian chickpea, pea and lentil growers and traders, particularly for the 2018 season, the larger concern should be focusing on the state of agricultural production in India and what this might mean in the long term.

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Topics: Agriculture, India, developing world

Investment in agriculture: Are all your eggs in one basket?

Posted by Olivia Agar on 26 February 2018

The philosophy ‘Invest in what you know’, advocated by Warren Buffett, has been a popular guide for investors. The premise is that having specialized knowledge in the field should mean an investor can pinpoint strengths and weaknesses of the business, evaluate the industries climate and know when to make a move. But is this really an ideal strategy to follow for those in agriculture or is it placing all your eggs in one basket?

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Topics: Risk management, investment

Bang for your banking buck

Posted by Olivia Agar on 4 February 2018

The struggle of financing for many small rural businesses is widely felt. There is little joy in the cumbersome process of applying for financing and the nerves and sleepless nights over interactions with current or prospective banks can be haunting. 

Having a good relationship with your bank can be a means to drive your business forward. In this article we delve into what a good relationship with your bank should look like, and how it will help to get the best bang for your banking buck.

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Topics: banking, farm management, finance

Is the traditional financing model broken (or brokered)

Posted by Olivia Agar on 15 January 2018

The nature of financing for small to medium businesses, particularly in rural communities, isn’t quite what it was 20 years ago. Relationships with a single bank, spanning generations are increasingly rare. For farmers and rural businesses, rationalization of regional banks and the revolving door of bank managers causes disruptions to customer service which has stripped away much of the appeal and reduced the value of having a longstanding relationship with a bank.

Small business owners are now placing more value on a personalized approach to finance, seeking greater flexibility and support from their lender which is driving them to search for alternative options or a more competitive offer on their finances.

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Topics: financing

Agtech Visions: Will lab grown meat supercede animal agriculture?

Posted by Olivia Agar on 6 January 2018

Porterhouse Steak $34.00 –grown from the finest myosatellite cells of a 100 day grass fed Black Angus in a bioreactor.

While this doesn’t quite kick the salivary glands into action, it could be the story of providence on the menu at any fine dining restaurant in the future (like this one). Well, that is if we are to believe that the hype around ‘lab grown’ meat can become a reality.

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Topics: agtech

Rain, hail or shine: is multiperil crop insurance the answer?

Posted by Olivia Agar on 8 December 2017

I know I’ve probably lost a few readers just from the mention of insurance, but for the greater good I will persist. This season we saw optimism in the harvest spread far and wide until mother nature unleashed a series of abnormal weather events. We’ve all heard the stories of those that are uninsured. The devastation from hopes for a good year to a near wipe out so close to harvest have been felt widely.

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Topics: Agriculture

An Unexpected Journey to Agriculture

Posted by Olivia Agar on 24 November 2017

How did a 24-year-old girl from Sydney's southern suburbs of 'The Shire', with no family ties to farming end up set well into a career in agriculture? Well that’s an excellent question, and one I get asked often, generally accompanied by very baffled expressions from the asking persons.

Given National Agriculture day this week, and a time to celebrate all things agriculture, I'm going to share the tale of my unexpected journey into Ag.

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Topics: Agriculture

Protect yourself from receivership

Posted by Olivia Agar on 29 March 2017

The Australian grain sector has lost over $54 million since deregulation due to trader insolvencies. Using written contracts and dealing with known businesses may help reduce counterparty risk but unfortunately when it comes down to claiming legal property title, someone else may have already beaten you to it.

In this article we look at how the Personal Property Security Register (PPSR), can be used to protect from counterparty risk not just for grain, but any other agricultural transaction. 

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