Fighting for food and land justice may not be sufficient enough for ensuring the Black community’s independence and self-sovereignty. The dominant society has spent decades stripping Black landowners of their farmland, since land contains power and wealth. However, in today’s economy, lack of resources to develop the land can turn a lavish plot of land into a trap. Many efforts have been deployed by activists to bring to the masses attention of North America’s exploitative food systems, which coupled with systematic discrimination and injustice, has resulted into the lack of access to healthy food suffered mainly by the Black community. However, the root of the problem is not the lack of land, but the lack of financial resources to develop the land, which can cause farmers to abandon their land in the quest for more lucrative activities.
The recent case of the Mallerys in El Paso County, Colorado has brought to the front lines of mainstream media what we already know and many have experienced for centuries: land ownership is something that the dominant society has determined not to allow for us to have. But some voices in the Black Media tell us why we should fight for cash reparations:
Even though the value of the land and the wealth that dwells in the land cannot be dismissed, …having a plan, having a code, having an agenda,… [it is what matters first]. There is a reason why for denying us land ownership, development ownership, that anchors you to a land, that anchors you to an area, that allows you to build a community. And community begins with commerce. Community does not begin with a house; community begins with commerce. When they see you setting up 640 acres for the purposes of commerce, even if it looks that your plot is not well organized, they are worried about what it could be in 5 or 10 years, they are worried about what that determination [you have within you] could become.” (Jason Black – “Targeting Ordinary Black Citizens”).
And this is true. Black farmers have been declining in recent decades exponentially due to this type of terror and harassment targeting thriving pockets of black-owned farms and ranches. Today, just 1.4 percent of farmers identify as Black or mixed race compared with about 14 percent 100 years ago. These farmers represent less than 0.5 percent of total US farm sales, and these figures could even go worst if we, as a community, do not take seriously the importance of owning the resources that allow us to live. Lack of access to credit and capital, discrimination in accessing federal farm programs, agricultural practices and technologies disparities, land loss and limited ownership are some among many other factors that have contributed to the Black farmers numbers lessening drastically.
Fortunately, Web3 and the Blockchain-based Metaverse are here to help. To avoid the complete disappearance of our position as workers and stewards of the land and its fruits, as in other areas and industries, blockchain technology can also serve as a bridge to achieve our goal of creating thriving communities while we await our rightful reparations. The elimination of middlemen in the agriculture industry could increase the income of producers, allowing them to enter in masse on the list of Black businesses that serve their products directly to their consumers. The possibility of digitizing our property titles and registering them immutably on blockchains will eliminate the precariousness of many potential heirs from our community, whose rights are being reviewed at this very moment by certain administrations in order to avoid due compensation from the state.
Yes, you heard it right! The Metaverse and the Web3 has the potential to revolutionize the agriculture industry.
As TBA said, just owning the land does not ensure that we will be able to pass on our heritage to later generations. The economic resources necessary to develop those portions of land is our ticket to freedom. But to get to that point we need to buy Black, and that also means including Black farmers in the chain. Hence the importance of bridging the gap between Black farmers and their potential customers.
The potential of the Metaverse to revolutionize the farming industry is immense. One of the most significant benefits of the Metaverse is the potential for increased access to markets, which could help to mitigate some of the difficulties that historically discriminated communities, such as Black farmers, have faced in getting their produce to market.
In the Metaverse, farmers can create virtual storefronts, providing them with a platform to showcase their products, reach new customers and sell their produce directly, cutting out middlemen and increasing their profits. This can be especially beneficial for Black farmers who have historically faced obstacles in accessing traditional marketing channels and markets due to discrimination and lack of resources.
Additionally, the Metaverse offers the potential for farmers to form and participate in Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs) that allow them to collectively market their products and pool resources. This can help to increase their bargaining power and help them to overcome the challenges that arise from their limited access to resources. For example, a "DAO for Black-led Agricultural Cooperatives" could provide support and resources for Black-led agricultural cooperatives, enabling them to work together to increase their production, efficiency, and market access. Also, developing a "Decentralized Agricultural Supply Chain Platform” for managing the supply chain of Black-owned agricultural businesses, would help reduce costs, increase transparency, and empower farmers to control their own data and sales. All this is possible with the existing Web3 technology.
Moreover, the Metaverse provides opportunities for farmers to create immersive and interactive experiences, such as virtual farm tours, that can engage consumers and provide them with a deeper understanding of the farmer’s work and the food they grow. These experiences can help to build trust and foster relationships between farmers and consumers, further increasing their chances of success in the market.
Finally, regarding their land ownership, Real Estate NFTs can be a potential solution for Black farmers without legal protections for property ownership. Through NFTs, ownership of a property can be recorded and transferred in a secure, transparent, and tamper-proof manner. This can help to prevent issues related to unclear property ownership, such as disputes over inheritance and the risk of losing property to developers. For Black farmers without legal protections, Real Estate NFTs can offer a way to establish and transfer ownership in a secure and immutable way. In addition, NFTs can also be used to represent fractional ownership, which can make it easier for multiple owners to invest in a property and share ownership. This could make it more accessible for small-scale farmers to invest in and own land, even without the legal protections typically associated with property ownership.
In summary, the Metaverse offers a powerful new tool for Black farmers, providing them with new opportunities to reach new markets, form collective bargaining units and engage with consumers in innovative and impactful ways. Are we also going to miss this opportunity and be left behind? WHEN YOU CHANGE YOUR PERSPECTIVE, YOU CHANGE YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES.