Companies are buying up land in Hyder, Arizona at a rapid clip to develop for farming – a trend that is putting this area on path to be Arizona’s next farming hub, according to Kuldip Verma of Vermaland, a Phoenix-based land banking and land development company.

Hyder, located north of the Gila River in Maricopa County. Traditionally, Hyder has been host to primarily local farmers and now farmers from other parts of the world are moving in to take advantage of the economic opportunities.

Citing drought conditions in California, developers are settling in this part of the state in part because of water availability. The development is also being driven by demand for beef from China. According to Bloomberg News, the diet of China’s 1.4 billion people is becoming more like that of the average American, which means more beef sales, which have risen 19,000 percent in the past decade.

In trying to keep up with demand, the Chinese are importing more hay for their cows. Over 10,000 acres have been bought or leased by large U.S. farm entities.

“This trend is a positive one for Arizona, as it will mean more economic activity all around, from developers to farmers and to sellers and consumers of the products these lands produce,” said Verma, CEO and founder of Vermaland. 

Vermaland possesses the largest holdings of 50 to 1,200-acre parcels in the metropolitan Phoenix region. Its development portfolio includes high quality commercial, residential, and agricultural parcels as well as utility scale renewable energy projects.