NOTE: do read the older post http://someitemshave.blogspot.in/2011/10/towards-green-life.html
for a background to this one.
Some of my earlier posts have alluded to the possibility of a return to land as a way of creating jobs in developed economies such as that of the USA that is trying to deal with this issue. The last post described a layout of farmlands in designed narrow strips so as to minimize some of the hardships faced by rural communities. May I call these AM farms for convenience here.
Let us consider a fifty into fifty mile irrigated land area divided up into AM farms and try and estimate roughly the expenses for creating them and the number of jobs that might be created by doing so. It would be necessary to divide the landmass into a grid of roads that are a mile apart in order to provide road access to all the farms for the purpose.
One square mile of land area results in 50 AM farms laid back to back and facing two roads that are a mile apart. Each of these farms would be a little over ten acres in size. Thus a fifty into fifty square mile area would create 125000 AM farms. However allowing for about 20% of the area for a central township and some natural common areas let us say a 100,000 AM farms are created in our chosen land area. If these farms work as modern intensive farms, each farm may generate direct and indirect employment for up to ten adults i.e that would create a million jobs. This is only first estimate but a more careful detailed study is likely to produce a similar result.
However a jobless person with little or no money can hardly be asked to move to a farming enterprise and make a success of it, even if they are interested. The infrastructure has to be created, training provided and an initial grant (that includes a starter cottage on the farm with electricity, water and gas connection) is the minimum required. If we assume an initial expense of 100, 000 dollars per farm then these 100, 000 farms would cause an initial expense of ten billion dollars – a small amount compared to the 400 billion dollar job creation plan that is being proposed in USA nowadays and very small compared to a trillion dollar bank bailout. Even creating ten such agricultural hubs across the USA would cost just 100 billion dollars and possibly create ten million jobs.
Some of the expenses incurred would be as a loan to the new farmers with their farmlands (and any present or future construction on it) as a collateral to be paid back in easy installments spread over twenty years beginning three years after allotment . Allotees would not be eligible for any social welfare benefits except for an initial settling allowance forcing them to produce or quit. Not everyone is a good farmer. Those who cannot make a success of their farms would lose them eventually for allotment to new applicants. The central town may have an extension and training center with short courses in agricultural technologies such as orchard growing, mushroom growing, beekeeping, poultry, blue water fish farming and diary industries etc.
If such farms were created would there be a market for all the extra farm produce? For sure there would be. The population of our planet is now over seven billion strong and rising food prices are an issue all over the world.
More details of AM farms is provided in the next post. The present proposal of designing farms in narrow strips and permitting the roadside for construction would add some of the advantages of urban life to rural area and remove its main disadvantage i.e scattered farm houses.
This proposal is a quick rough plan. Its details can easily be modified/revised/improved by available experts if necessary.
A different proposal in this blog on adding the advantages of rural living to urban areas in a green hybrid city is also described in this blog at http://someitemshave.blogspot.in/2012/06/green-hybrid-city.html
Photo: Hen by Bobby Mikul from http://www.publicdomainpictures.net
Since this post was published, more recent work has been done on the concept to develop designs for post-modern villages that employ the strip farm concept. Do check this out http://steamcenter.blogspot.in/2014/05/postmodern-designer-villages.html