The fourth richest man in the world is the largest private owner of agricultural land in the US and has shares in John Deere the factory of agricultural machinery
Bill and Melinda Gates since the mid-1990s have sought to diversify their investments to place less emphasis on their Microsoft holdings, specifically Bill Gates over the past few decades has been buying up farmland, often as part of his overall philanthropic vision. , where their farms employ advanced techniques designed to improve sustainability and support future food needs around the world. Although his investment is large and almost equivalent to the size of Hong Kong, it is less than 1% of the arable land in the United States.
The purchase of land is not unusual in itself, it is one of the most prudent financial investments that can be made now as a hedge against inflation, since agricultural land offers low volatility. In addition, it can provide consistent, uncorrelated returns to your other technology activities. This is perhaps the main reason why so much private farmland is owned by leading investment firms, including pension plans and life insurance companies like John Hancock.
Gates, who stepped down from his day-long stake in Microsoft in 2008, has long been looking for ways to help the world’s poorest and address the planet’s environmental challenges. In January 2021, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation launched Gates Ag One, a non-profit charitable venture that aims to help farmers in developing countries access Agri-Tech: improve farm tools, learn how better maximize yield and better adapt to climate change.
Gates, who sees innovation as the foundation of development, is betting that farmland will become more automated in the future, super-productive seeds, sustainable biofuels and super-crops will be created. The fashion for plant-based proteins (legumes, grains, and nuts among others) is estimated to be worth $23.4 billion by 2027. If the country’s largest farmland owner can show that agriculture can be sustainable and profitable, that will make a big difference in the sector and improve the profitability of its own investments in agricultural land.
Among its investments are John Deere tractors, successful in its transformation towards the Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI).
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