Business

Bill Gates is the owner of the largest agricultural land in the US, the size exceeds Singapore

If many billionaires and rich people in the world are being lulled by scrambling to invest in Bitcoin, it is different from Bill Gates . The fourth richest person in the world is investing in agricultural land. The data shows that Gates is the owner of the largest agricultural land in the entire United States.

Quoted from the Financial Times, Sunday (18/4/2021) based on the publication data of The Land Report, Bill Gates’ total asset ownership in the form of agricultural land reaches 242,000 acres or approximately 979 square kilometers. Its size is wider than Jakarta and even bigger than Singapore.

One of his lots is in The Horse Heaven Hills area, a farm in southern Washington state and close to the Oregon state border.

This fertile land with an area of ​​58 square kilometers, which he bought almost three years ago, is a granary for vineyards as well as potato.

The area is hilly, this area is also a land to build wind turbines for wind power plants (PLTB).

Even though the land area controlled by Gates is fantastic, this value is still very far from the plantations managed directly by the state.

In the US, 97.8 percent of cropland is managed by the US Department of Agriculture, only 2.2 percent is privately owned.

Even though it only controls a small part, the value of investment in this sector seems to have continued to increase in relative terms since the 2008 financial crisis.

Specifically in the US alone, agricultural land funds raised USD 5.7 billion or around IDR 82 trillion in 2019, the highest post-crisis, before these inflows receded to USD 2 billion or less than IDR 29 trillion last year amid the pandemic, according to data Preqin.

Some experts argue that investment in agricultural land is promising, because the need for food sources will continue to increase in the coming years as the world’s population increases.

This concept is similar to one of the values ​​Gates promotes in his charity Bill and Melinda Gates about agricultural innovation. Through his foundation, Gates hopes to be able to support the improvement of the food sector in poor countries in the world.

Lower Carbon Agricultural Land

According to a number of experts, this initiative to buy land is also inseparable from environmental problems. Moreover, Bill Gates is also quite famous for his commitment to climate change, this may be one of the reasons.
“There is a post-recession (2008 crisis) run to safe assets, but the bigger trend may be a factor related to climate mitigation,” said Emily Norton, head of rural research at property agency Savills.
Some experts have noted that agricultural land purchased by large-scale investors results in lower greenhouse gas emissions than land used for livestock. Coupled with the innovation of regenerative farming techniques, it can also help reduce emissions even more.
In some countries, an assessment of the amount of carbon emissions produced is also an indicator in providing subsidies to the agricultural sector.
In the UK, post Brexit, agricultural subsidies will also be linked to environmental performance. This new provision has the potential to provide investors with a large incentive if they are able to reduce their emission yields to near zero.
“I think this will become a global trend – looking for degraded land assets and converting them to a higher environmental status, either through organic agriculture, land regeneration, or agri-forestry,” said Norton.

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