Global Investments in Agriculture Technologies and Growing Demand for Paid Work

Today, a single person driving a huge $400,000 combine, burning 200 gallons of fuel daily, guided by computers and GPS satellite navigation, can cover 20 acres an hour, and harvest 8,000 to 10,000 bushels of wheat in a single day.”

 Christian Parenti, Reading the World In a Loaf of Bread: Soaring Food Prices, Wild Weather, Upheaval, and a Planetful of Trouble.

“MOLINE, Illinois (May 18, 2011)  – Deere & Company said today it will build a new manufacturing facility in northeast China to support the increased demand for large agricultural products in the region. The factory will build mid- and large-sized tractors, sprayers, planters and harvesting equipment. Deere said its initial outlay for the project is approximately $80 million.”

John Deere Press Release, May 18, 2011.

“All business is local. To understand and respond to our many customers’ needs and requirements worldwide, we must live where they live. Work where they work. That’s why John Deere reaches out across the world with factories, offices and other facilities in more than 30 countries…”

John Deere web page, Worldwide Locations


Displacement of families from agricultural lands by agricultural businesses with machines has long been a key driver of the demand for jobs in cities and suburbs, and continues to be in some areas of the world.  Agricultural workers, often non-paid family workers, whose work is taken over by machines migrate to cities and seek jobs in the manufacturing, service, and government sectors.  From growing food and feeding themselves, families on agricultural lands become dependent on jobs for the money to buy food produced by the remaining few workers on factory farms.  Without jobs, they become dependent on public and private handouts.

Despite the world’s need to produce more and more food for a population projected to reach 10 billion by 2100, agriculture will not offer more job opportunities.  Instead, the world’s agricultural regions will send even more millions to cities in search of paid work.