bill gates buying farmland

Why are Billionaires Like Bill Gates Buying Farmland?


If you thought nothing could beat being a techie, here is some news for you- you can be a wealthy farmer and a tech mogul in one lifetime. For the past few decades, people would have drawn a strong line between agriculture and tech and separated the roles and jobs based on the type of dedication each required. A farmer needed to tend to land and stay on it to have crops and tech moguls embedded into their business to get to the top. But not anymore. Bill Gates, Elon Musk, and Jeff Bezos have proved you can be a billionaire and have a land portfolio that people look up to.

Since the mid-1990s, Bill and Melinda Gates have been buying farmland and currently hold land across 19 states. According to some reports, he is one of the world’s wealthiest men. However, he is still behind John Malone, who owns 2.2 million acres of land compared to his 242,000 acres. Bill Gates private investments make up for about a quarter of all farmland in the US which were made through Cascade Investments. In such a short time, this staggering amount of investments beg the question: what do millionaires want to do with all this farmland? And what will Bill Gates do now?

What Does He want to Do with all this land?

The first answer that comes to mind is money. It’s clear that farmland earns passive and active income and doesn’t require much active human effort. Bill has made it clear that his efforts to buy land had nothing to do with his position on climate change, which makes it look like intelligent financial planning.

But Gates has hinted at sustainability and water usage for farming as discussion points that alludes to a relatively long-term motive- sustainable ways of feeding the planet. This is a noble and benevolent cause and can alter the course of life for many.

Considering the ever-growing world population, sustainability is a good goal to work on, and he may not be the only one to create such a solution. Ted Turner, the founder of CNN, also owns land with similar targets set. If billionaires decide to create better solutions for the food crisis and make some money on the way, can we blame them?

There is, however, a caveat that has been concerning to some. A limited resource in the hands of a few can affect the long-term maintainability of the resource. This also gives them immense and uncontrollable power over the food resource already unfairly distributed across the world. How wise is it to give a select few the freedom to control food resources in a monopolistic fashion?

Unfortunately, we live in times where the “billionaire knows best” mentality ignores who actually knows best and how to use and live with the land. Only time will tell if such technological advancements will help humanity or if we need another generation of billionaires who find better solutions.

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