Scale in Agriculture

For me, this scale question relates back to my main technological pre-occupation: organic farming.

Seems sometimes that nearly everyone working in “food innovation” sectors are obsessed with scaling upward. That we don’t have solutions unless those solutions can feed the world or unless they can feed into a massive industrial supply chain. Or if we can make an app out of it somehow.

But my vision is very much more about scaling laterally than vertically. As I wrote elsewhere in a response to a Kimbal Musk TED talk:

What if instead of encouraging people to form the next $100,000,000,000 food company, you encouraged people to start the next $10,000 farm and helped them with the tools to succeed on a very small, very personal/familial scale?

That would still be 10,000,000 new farms, each making $10,000. The collective impact TEN MILLION new small farms would have on our personal experience of food and nature and labor would positively transform the planet.

I’m getting really tired of the game where everyone is made to feel that they have to clutch at the “brass ring” and be the next bazillionaire. I don’t feel that scaling vertically is the universal solution that the market makes it out to be.

I’d much rather see many many small inter-linked diverse experiments running autonomously and sharing data and expertise. Let’s see where that dream and vision takes us…


Scale in Agriculture was originally published in Invironment on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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About the author

Danyal Ali Butt

I'm working as programmer since 2002. Born, grew up, studied and worked in Pakistan now Im located in Denmark since 2006.

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