No one knows why except Bill and also Melinda Gates and their within circle, however the speculation is transforming again to your vision that building new ‘connected’ clever cities and farms. This is where man-made intelligence (AI), geodata, resource management and other technology come together at 5G speed to optimize crop yields indigenous every acre the land, ushering in a new era that hyper AgTech.

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Despite scarce information, a January 2020 push release indigenous the bill & Melinda Gates foundation stated that it is “in the process of creating a new 501(c)(3) nonprofit, bill & Melinda Gates agricultural Innovations, LLC,” including that “the entity, to be recognized as gates Ag One, intends to speed up initiatives to provide smallholder farmer in developing countries, many of whom are women, with access to the affordable tools and innovations they should sustainably improve crop productivity and adapt come the results of climate change.”

Gates’ vast new U.S. Floor acquisitions were revealed through some investigative journalism by The floor Report, a go-to resource on land ownership. Editor Eric O’Keefe i found it a substantial purchase (14,500 acres) of element farmland in Washington State do by one unknown Louisiana-based LLC with two just employees. The tiny LLC had actually $171 million at its disposal to do this soil purchase.

O’Keefe investigated this “$171 million acquisition by one LLC through two employee in a metal-sided building down a dirt road off the Bayou Teche.” the dug deeper, and in for this reason doing uncovered Cascade invest LLC, the invest firm that manages the entrances fortune.

Why is among the proto billionaires that the internet period now obtaining his hands dirty, so come speak? The answer may be uncovered in a spot of Arizona desert fairly than a Pacific Northwest valley.

Farmer Bill’s clever City In The Desert

Talk of gates buying land for smart urban goes ago to at least 2017, once the Microsoft founder and world’s 3rd wealthiest human being spent a reported $80 million for nearly 25,000 acres near Phoenix, through real estate invest trust (REIT) Belmont Partners.

When (and if) the built, the envisioned smart city of Belmont will certainly be about the dimension of Tempe.

While Cascade investment LLC and Gates were mum on specifics, Belmont Partners claimed at the moment that “the new investment will help Belmont become a design template for the breakthrough of a sustainable city capitalizing ~ above cutting-edge infrastructure.”

That explain said, “Belmont will develop a forward-thinking ar with a communication and also infrastructure spine that embraces cutting-edge an innovation designed about high-speed digital networks, data centers, new manufacturing technologies and distribution models, autonomous vehicles and also autonomous logistics hubs.”

That’s the dream, anyway. An exhaustive February 2021 article in The brand-new York article identifies gates as the nation’s solitary largest owner of farmland with a tangle the subsidiaries ultimately owned or maintained by Cascade invest LLC, noting that “with the Washington state acreage and other recent additions to his portfolio ... Entrances now own at least 242,000 acre of American farmland.”

As for what gates imagines sit on his Arizona land parcel, Digital fads reported then that “the smart city’s cutting-edge production technologies and also modes that distribution might involve large-scale 3D printing, a technology Gates has supported in the past. Through plans because that autonomous vehicles, the city might be one of the cities gateways says will certainly experiment through the modern technology before that is readily available to the wider public.”

Coming Soon: The Purpose-Built City

In an upgrade on the instance that released one year back this week, simply as COVID was emerging, reported that Belmont acquired extr land in the proximal area well-known as Buckeye. “The location is best for a smart city experiment,” wrote.

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“In addition to the phenomenal growth that Phoenix is experiencing, Buckeye is additionally seeing a surge in development that will assist support a smart city.”

Per the Belmont properties statement, Futurism reported that the floor “will transform a raw, empty slate right into a purpose-built leaf city built about a flexible facilities model.”

Commenting ~ above the undeveloped nature of the land, Futurism added that “this absence of existing framework will permit the ‘smart city’ to be molded into a fully unique space. Belmont has actually the potential to journey design and also ingenuity forward, all while sustaining the state.”

As the today, a smattering of contractors is erecting new homes in the vicinity the the proposed site of the smart city the Belmont, Arizona, but there’s to be no large-scale advance as yet.

Of course, the opportunity exists that much of this floor buying is simply an invest — what the ultra-rich do, because, together the old saying around land goes, “they’re no making any much more of it.”

And what around farming? as the brand-new York write-up reported, “Gates has actually invested in difficult Foods and also Beyond Meat, two companies producing beef substitutes, including the difficult Burger. In his new book, ‘How to stop a Climate Disaster,’ Gates describes why raising beef cattle causes an ext harmful emissions than other creates of agriculture. He really hopes plant-based substitutes will permit us come ‘cut down on meat-eating when still enjoying the taste the meat.’”