Bunge seeks investors for Brazil land fund

 * Investment fund would be weighted to sugar properties
 * Still gauging investor interest
 * Sees fund topping $100 million
 NEW YORK, May 19 (Reuters) - Global agribusiness and food
company Bunge Ltd BG.N is gauging investor interest for the
launch of an investment fund that would buy land in Brazil to
take advantage of demand for sugar and sugar-based ethanol, the
company's chief financial officer said on Wednesday.
 The offering would build on Bunge's expanding presence in
the sugar industry in Brazil and is one of many new investment
vehicles by a range of companies and investment groups that are
funneling capital into global agriculture.
 "We've been out in the market gauging investor appetite,"
said Bunge Chief Financial Officer Jacqualyn Fouse. "Depending
on that appetite we'll figure out what the size of it might be
and when it could actually get kicked off. It is a pretty
active project but it is not up and running yet."
 Fouse said investor interest in farmland ownership appeared
to be growing, and Bunge was aiming to draw more than $100
million in investor dollars to its land fund.
 She said though the fund would target farmland acquisitions
involving production of multiple crops, the focus would be on
sugar production.
 "The opportunity is definitely there," she said.
 Fouse, who spoke about the land fund on the sidelines of an
industry conference in New York, said in a presentation at the
BMO Capital Markets conference that Bunge believes Brazil is
uniquely positioned as a key low-cost global producer for raw
sugar and sugar-based ethanol.
 "Domestic demand in Brazil for ethanol has been growing at
a very rapid pace," said Fouse. Sugar is preferable to corn for
ethanol production, she said.
 "We think long term ... the future for sugar-based ethanol
is very good."
 White Plains, New York-based Bunge buys, sells, stores and
transports oilseeds and grains, produces sugar and ethanol from
sugar cane; mills wheat and corn to make ingredients used by
food companies; and sells fertilizer in North and South
 (Reporting by Carey Gillam; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)