Some time in the possible future of agriculture…

At Food Agility this weekend, I was asked to describe a future ‘food system’’. I came up with the following based on the companies and ideas I see at Main Sequence Ventures. It might be wrong! :)

There is a living mesh of data that connects all elements of the food system and informs our decisions. It adapts hourly as the context changes. Weather, top soil, water supply, transport routes and customer demand.

Customer demand is more complex now because most people expect custom designed nutrition plans. Millions of people manage their preferences in apps which connect with their bio data to recommend what to eat. They share this waith the network to inform supply lines. This data flows back to the growers and, combined with knowledge of the changing supply chain, informs the growers what to grow. We waste very little.

When consumers buy their food, they know exactly where it was grown. In fact they can see its history from inception to plate. Where possible, people expect food to be grown close to where they live so that they know it is fresh. When we buy food that has had a verifiably difficult production and journey, we are comfortable to pay more.

Many years ago we simplified how data is collected. We figured out how to guarantee connectivity with the internet (no matter where the field is) and how to share what is collected (no matter who collected it) for the good of the system as a whole. We also standardised sensors to minimise cost to growers.

This new platform came together quickly when we incentivised technology developers to connect, when we incentivised growers to sustain the ‘natural value’ of their land, and when bundle deals allowed growers to afford a minimum viable upgrade and instantly show improvements in yield from technology.

QUESTIONS:
Which part of the machine is currently missing? 
What is an under supported idea we can champion to bring the platform together faster/better?
What is in the ‘starter kit’ for growers’
What did I get wrong?

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