Belize is located in Central America and it is bordered to the north by Mexico, to the south and west by Guatemala and to the east by the Caribbean Sea. 

 
 

Belize is a diverse country with various cultures and languages, with the lowest population density in Central America, with 35 people per square mile or 14 people per square kilometer. 

Belize is also known for its extreme biodiversity and distinctive ecosystems. On the coast, there is a coastal plain with mangrove swamps.

In the south and interior there are hills and low mountains. Most of the land is undeveloped and is forested with hardwoods.

 
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It is a part of the Mesoamerican biodiversity hotspot and it has many jungles, wildlife reserves, a large variety of different species of flora and fauna and the largest cave system in Central America. Some species of Belize's flora and fauna include the black orchid, the mahogany tree, the toucan and tapirs.

The first people to develop Belize were the Maya around 1500 BC. Archeological records show they established a number of settlements, including Caracol, Lamanai and Lubaantun.

The first European contact with Belize occurred in 1502 when Christopher Columbus reached the area's coast. In 1638, the first European settlement was established by England and for 150 years, many more English settlements were set up.

In 1840, Belize became a "Colony of British Honduras" and in 1862, it became a crown colony. For one hundred years after that, Belize was a representative government of England but in January 1964, full self-government with a ministerial system was granted. In 1973, the region's name was changed from British Honduras to Belize and on September 21, 1981, full independence was achieved.

 

From the moment one arrives in Belize – whether an adventure traveler, part of a family trip or in the country for a relaxing beach vacation – Belize people and culture make one feel welcome and comfortable.

In Belize, traditions and customs are varied and represent more than eight diverse cultures. For generations, the people of Belize have demonstrated a cultural commitment to preserve the country’s unique charms.

This enduring promise to the land, the waters and visitors inspires all to achieve a genuine and intimate connection to a variety of extraordinary experiences. 

Truly a melting pot of colorful personalities, Belize’s 300,000+ residents are the country’s greatest resource for tourism. The Belizean people are made up of Maya, Mestizo, Kriol, Garifuna, East Indian, Mennonite, Arab and Chinese. 

 

There also are a number of expatriates in Belize from Canada, Europe and the United States . A blending of cultures has resulted in one of the happiest and most peaceful countries in the region and a widespread reputation as one of the world’s friendliest tourist destinations. 

In Belize (formerly British Honduras), English remains the official language, but the most diverse language in Belize is Kriol (Belizean Creole). Other languages spoken include Garifuna, Mandarin, Spanish and Maya. 

 

One of the nicest things about Belize is the weather. With an average yearly temperature of 84° F (29°C), it’s always warm, yet comfortable. Coastal sea breezes along with the jungle and rainforests keep things cool even in the hottest summer months. During the winter (November-March) the temperature in Belize rarely falls below 60°F (16°C). Humidity is also fairly consistent at around 85 percent. 

Belize’s dry season (between February and May), has significantly lower rainfall than the rest of the year. When it does rain, it is usually in mild, short bursts. 

June through December is the wet season.  This is when parts of the country receive up to 150 inches of rain and the heavy, sometimes wild storms associated with the Caribbean can occur, typically later in the afternoons. The most frequent rainfall usually happens in June or early July.  This is punctuated by a break in late July or August known as the "little dry." 
 

 

Belize Economic Stability

 

The Belize economy is primarily agro-based. Belize trade is dominated by agricultural products, with products such as sugar and bananas having been the highlight of trade for a long time.
 
However, as a result of new policies, the economy has shifted its focus towards tourism as a potent sector to advance national growth. Tourism now contributes more foreign exchange than the traditional trades in Belize, although it remains vulnerable to shifts in global economics.

Belize Trade, Exports and Imports

Belize trade has recovered from the global recession. While in 2008, Belize exports were recorded at $464.7 million, the export volume dropped to $395 million in 2009.
 
The following commodities are Belize’s main exported goods:

·         Sugar

·         Bananas

·         Citrus

·         Clothing

·         Fish products

·         Molasses

·         Wood

·         Crude oil

The major export partners are:

•    US
•    UK
•    Italy
•    Nigeria
 
This is how the aforementioned countries contribute to the total export volume (in percentage):

 

The Teak Wood Industry

 

The landscape of the global teak industry has changed significantly in the past couple of years.

Traditionally, the majority of the world’s teak came from natural teak forests located in a few specific countries in Southeast Asia. India, Thailand, Laos and, by far the most significant, Myanmar. Myanmar alone has traditionally supplied 75% of the world’s teak. 

However, due to the extensive logging of the natural teak forests in these countries, as well as the uneconomic practice of selling unprocessed teak logs as opposed to more valuable, processed teak sawn wood, all of these countries in the past several years have implemented bans on the exportation of unprocessed teak logs, as well as increased regulations on the logging of natural teak forests. Myanmar, the world’s most important country in terms of teak production, was the final country to implement these changes, in April of 2014. 

This is having a significant impact on the teak wood industry globally.

The Rise of Latin American Teak Plantations

As noted, the world’s supply of teak has traditionally come from natural teak forests in Southeast Asia.  However, this can no longer be the case due to over-logging and recent government bans on logging and exports.

Regardless, the world’s appetite for teak continues to grow. This means that teak must come from somewhere other than Myanmar and the handful of other Southeast Asian countries which have traditionally dominated the market. 

Enter Latin America. Teak plantations have been developed in Latin America for the past several decades and we now have fully established, robust teak plantations. These countries include Ecuador, Panama and Belize.

Although the teak production of Latin America cannot compare with that of their Southeast Asian counterparts, it is still significant and it's rapidly growing.

 
 

What Does All This Mean for Teak Investors?

The teak industry is going through a major transformation. The countries that have been the traditional sources of teak are placing bans and regulations on the logging and exportation of teak in their countries.

Simultaneously, teak production throughout countries in Latin America is ramping up. This makes right now an excellent time to invest in a teak plantation as the demand for teak is increasing while the supply from traditional sources is decreasing. The teak plantations of Latin America are poised to fill this void.

TKO Farms, Inc.

TKO Farms, Inc. has contracted to acquire a 512-acre farm with a proposed additional 400 acres in Belize. 

Of the 512 acres, 312 acres are in hardwood trees, consisting of 76,532 teak, 16,500 mahogany, 5,460 Spanish cedar,1,700 sapodilla, 9,500 coconut, 2,196 soursop, 8,500 orange, 550 lime and 763 zircote , for a total of over 120,000 trees.

200 acres are planted in cash crops, and it is from this that all current farm income is derived.  The hardwood trees are like an annuity, with each passing year they grow older, larger and more valuable.  

The 400-acre farm will have after planting, 65,550 teak, 18,750 coconut and 9,000 soursop, for a total of 93,250 trees.

The teak reaches harvesting value when the heart wood grows to occupy the entire diameter of the tree, approximately 20 to 25 years after planting. The mahogany and other hardwoods take an additional 5 to 10 years.  

The real value is in the teak.

Cash Crops

There are more than 50,000 cash crop trees growing or to be planted, including coconut, citrus and soursop.

The soursop fruit is known for its medicinal value. It contains unique natural compounds which make it beneficial for the treatment of various ailments. Recently, it has gained popularity due to the fact that it can kill cancer cells up to 10,000 times more effectively than chemotherapy drugs and without side effects.

Soursop fruit regularly sells in the U.S. for $10 per pound and up.

The coconut has long been an indelible part of Latin food and culture, with the dried meat, known as copra, becoming quite a profitable sector. It is from copra where coconut oil is extracted. Coconut is used in a variety of edible products such as coconut water, desiccated coconut, coconut flour, coconut sugar, dried coconut fruit, coconut milk, virgin coconut oil, coconut vinegar, coconut jam, and coconut nectar syrup.

In the United States, the demand for coconut products is on the rise, in particular coconut water and coconut oil. Many U.S. consumers are seeking healthier alternatives to the more traditional options and coconut is recognized as a highly functional food, which is flavorful as well as healthy.

In addition to the high nutritional content, coconut is becoming well known for a range of health benefits including the promotion of weight loss. It is also highly valued for its moisturizing properties. With such a wide variety of benefits and uses, coconut is very much in demand.

 

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Farm Headquarters

The Plantation

Aerial Map

Over The Plantation

The River

Young Trees

Industry Numbers

 

The Vacation Cottages

TKO Farms, Inc. has contracted to build a vacation retreat for the pleasure and use of our investors. Initially, the compound will consist of four quality vacation cottages.  This will give investors the opportunity to enjoy not only the lovely climate and charming hospitality of Belize, but also to view the project first-hand and see the wonderful investment opportunity presenting itself.

 

 

Summary

 

Belize is an economically and politically stable country, which has embraced its 36-year old status as an independent country by opening trade and tourism avenues to the world. Travelers and business partners alike are made to feel welcome by the friendly atmosphere symbolic of the people and government of Belize.

 

The teak wood industry has undergone a dramatic change in the global market as reliance on supplies from countries in Southeast Asia, India, Thailand, Laos and, by far the most significant, Myanmar, are being supplanted due to extensive logging of the natural teak forests. In the past several years, each of these countries have implemented bans on the exportation of unprocessed teak logs.

 

While demand for teak has continued to grow, the industry was forced to turn to a new region for supply, specifically, Latin America and Belize. This makes right now an excellent time to invest in a teak plantation as the demand for teak is increasing while the supply from traditional sources is declining. The teak plantations of Latin America and Belize are poised to fill this void. There are more than 220,000 trees already growing or to be planted between the two TKO Farms, Inc. tree farms, of which 142,082 are teak.

 

Cash crops provide immediate and sustainable revenues and coconut and soursop products are in great demand due to their healthy and healing benefits. 

Hardwoods are one of the safest and steadiest growth investments available, protecting an investor in times of inflation and providing returns. In fact, hardwoods have outperformed all major stock indexes over the past 40 years.  They offer a solid return on investment and a hedge against inflation and currency devaluation.

 

Teak is one of the best values with the highest yields in the timber sector. It is a small niche segment which is managed by smaller, privately owned companies versus the big institutional operators.

 

Minimum amortized annual returns of 25-30% and a total return of at least 600% are quite attainable using existing market prices and conditions. A $25,000 investment, whilst simultaneously generating the returns specified, will also increase in value exponentially as the farms are generating revenues. The investment remains a significant and appreciating asset through and beyond the 25 year term.

 

Just like the beautiful climate of Belize, an investment in TKO Farms, Inc. is an opportunity for a rewarding and pleasant experience.

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