The Washington State Investment Board (WSIB) has approved a $221m (€200m) investment in Laguna Bay’s Agricultural Fund I, according to an email from the pension fund.
The commitment will be made in two parts, with the initial allocation being approximately $184m.
The structure of the investment allows for the pension fund to have the ability to invest an additional $36.8m if the manager is able to raise more than AUD1bn (€634m) of equity.
The investment strategy for Fund I is to invest in a variety of upstream agricultural assets in either Australia or New Zealand, including a combination of row crops, permanent crops, protein and water.
The WSIB has placed the capital into its tangible assets asset class.
The return goal is to achieve returns that are higher than fixed income but lower than equities.
The tangible portfolio is made up of investments in non-financial assets used in the production of goods and services.
The four main industries covered with this investment strategy include agriculture, energy, minerals/mining and society essentials.
At the end of June 2015, this asset class had a value of $1.56bn, according to the pension fund’s website.
This includes $1.6bn of unfunded commitments.
The pension fund has a global investment strategy for the tangible asset class.
Nearly 80% of the portfolio is in North America, with another 13.3% in Europe.
Australia/Pacific represents 0.3% of the portfolio, while agriculture covers almost 16% of the asset class.