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farm-land

Even the most ardent capitalists/imperialists know that they and their predecessors have destroyed earth. For this reason alone the material conditions are right for those forces to self-destruct. After this happy event, – to which we are all of course joyously contributing by every means possible, – the world’s forests and coasts and other natural landscapes will be handed over to the 1 billion indigenous people and fishermen. In many places the process is well under way.But it is expected that unless we do something about the rest of us, 80% of us will be living in cities by 2030. If our human population is 7.4 billion today, and 1 billion are in forests and along coasts, that means 5.12 billion of us might be in cities. Of course that would be mean certain extinction of most of the human race and most flora and fauna; – city life without commercial energy is unthinkable and commercial energy is the death of earth.

Evacuate the cities

Thus the present 3 billion city people must evacuate the cities and join with the 3.4 billion existing farmers, and do permaculture. This involves an enormous social upheaval; but one which we are in any case already setting in motion. Organic, regenerative, ecologically sustainable permaculture saves soils, climate and oceans and gives other species a chance. Hopefully the world’s new revolutionary governments outlaw commercial energy and ban capitalist corporations and war, and the new associations of rural independent producers will slow down runaway climate change.

But is there enough farmland? Yes. 24 countries have enough farmland to accommodate an extra 2 billion people from countries where there is not enough farmland or where temperatures have made human life impossible.

The average area of farmland per person in the world is 0.2 hectares. Assuming that the present world average is the right amount of farmland per person, of the 206 countries for which there are statistics, there is one country that could accommodate ten times more people than it does at the moment: Australia. It can increase its population from 23.5 to 235 million. Kazakhstan can accommodate nine times more to 150 million, Canada 7 times more to 233 million, Argentina five times more to 197 million, Niger 4 times more to 80 million,  Russian Federation four times more to 614, Lithuania four times to 11 million and Ukraine four times more to 163 million. Paraguay, Uruguay, Latvia, Belarus, Guyana and Moldova could accommodate three times more. United States, Estonia, Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary, Romania, Denmark, Bolivia and Finland could accommodate twice as many people as they have at present.So these 24 countries that today have a population of 0.75 billion people could open their borders to share their farmland and provide a permaculture life for 2 billion more people.

A second group of 51 countries have more than the average farmland per person but less than double the average. This list of countries is Afghanistan, Albania, Angola, Azerbaijan, Belize, Benin, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Croatia, Cuba, Czech Republic, France, The Gambia, Greece, Guinea, Iceland, Ireland, Kyrgyz Republic, Lao PDR, Libya, Macedonia-FYR, Malawi, Mali, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nicaragua, Poland, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Slovak Republic, South Africa, Spain, Sudan, Sweden, Syrian Arab Republic, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Zambia and Zimbabwe. These 51 countries presently have a population of 1.15 billion people. The people of these countries can plan that they will feed, clothe and house themselves and live in harmony with forest species, forest people and coastal people and all living things. They must curb their population growth so that no more forests or wetlands or other natural ecosystems are taken over for farming, and all farming must be permaculture.

1 billion people will move from just five countries

Of the remaining 6.4-0.75-1.15 = 4.5 billion of us, 3.3 billion live in China, India, Pakistan, Indonesia and Bangladesh. If the people in these five countries are to live in dignity, everything must change. Currently around half of all Indians are stunted, a euphemism for a condition worse than what Indians were in under Churchill. It is a shameful national calamity. Bangladesh has four times less farmland than the world’s average but not so many are starving. Pakistanis are in terrible problems. Chinese people can expect for conditions to only get worse environmentally and ecologically until they get better. And Indonesians are terribly poor. Thus to relieve the pressure on their all too scarce farmland these five countries will certainly send 1 billion people to Australia, Kazakhstan, Argentina, Russia and Canada and other places.

1 billion people are moving from countries that have been bombed or have become uninhabitable due to temperature rise

Iraq, parts of Iran, Saudi Arabia and other oil producing countries in West Asia and North Africa will certainly send the other 1 billion to the other 24 countries that have farmland to spare. These desperate countries have less than the world’s average farmland per person and temperatures are soaring and making it impossible for humans and many other flora and fauna to live there. Refugees from countries that had enough farmland but which the USA destroyed such as Syria, Libya,Yemen, Palestine and others must also be given new homes and new farmland. Finally many Western Europeans and North Africans will move because they don’t have enough farmland. Eastern Russia is already now encouraging anyone to come there and farm.  Niger will accommodate others.

Outlaw Commercial Energy, Give Forests, Coasts and Natural Landscapes to 1 billion Indigenous People; and Give the Balance 6.4 billion of Us 0.2 Hectares of Farmland Each!

An international conference must be held and decisions taken. Commercial energy including oil, coal, gas and nuclear and renewable energy (unless it is animal or hand-made water or solar power) must be outlawed to prevent further accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. People moving to new homes must be given food and accommodation along the way.  If groups of ten or twenty people move together we will feel less lonely and can plan together for a new future and deal with governments with confidence.

At least 3 billion people world-wide are struggling for right to farmland within their countries

If you are someone who doesn’t have land, join with others and demand land in one of the countries that has land to spare. If you are in a country that has enough farmland but the land is unfairly distributed, do not cooperate with the present system but demand land tenure of 0.2 ha per person in your family. If you are a forest person or a fisherman or woman, demand that others leave your forest or wetland or coastal area or other natural landscape this instant. We really must implement this human and flora and fauna survival plan a.s.a.p.

Anandi Sharan is a historian and blogger based in Bangalore. She was at one time running an NGO funded by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Clean Development Mechanism to pay for biogas plants and improved cookstoves in Kolar District and some Photovoltaic Lights in Tumkur District. Now she is a board member for a two year term of the Convention on Biodiversity Alliance. She also has a consultancy assignment to provide photovoltaic lighting systems for an NGO in Araria District. She can be contacted at sharan.anandi@gmail.com.

4 Comments

  1. Here on the Great Plains of North America, farmers don’t even have ploughs anymore, they just poison the weeds and push seeds in. I’d personally be glad to see the land re-populated, but it will take years to build up organic matter and appropriate tools. Given the tedium of gardening for most of us, I hope that the land will be owned by everyone, but the permaculture will be done by small robots keeping track of every blade of grass.

  2. K SHESHU BABU says:

    While there are vast lands in various countries where cultivation can be done, there was teeming with millions of hungry. So, all should balance C

  3. K SHESHU BABU says:

    Some most populated countries have excess labourers. Other nations have vast tracts of unutilized farm lands. Redistribution of land across the nations is a good idea. But, patriotism and nationalism must not come in the way.

  4. If those one billion noble savages stopped breeding irresponsibility, then everyone’s future would be a lot more comfortable and secure. That’s what we should be speaking about.