Friday, October 15, 2010

Agricultural Knowledge Economy

This post is the first of a series that will document how different professionals, in different industries, are evolving towards the knowledge economy.

The objective  of this exercise is to discover the consequences, benefits and potential impediments of those professionals in their on-going transformation from knowledge holders to knowledge developers.

In doing so, I hope it will be easier for you to fast forward 5 years, and plan the necessary steps to ensure your participation in the knowledge economy.

Agricultural Knowledge Economy

  • Grown to order,
  • by natural nutrient developers,
  • to maximize human potential,
  • with externalities control,
  • or, precision agriculture.

1. Knowledge Value Chain

The agricultural knowledge economy results from the partnership between the natural nutrient developers (ex-farmer and producer), individuals (consumers), and nutritional scientists.

This partnership forms a knowledge value chain, whose main objective is to increase human potential through nutrition, wih externalities control.

In the knowledge economy farmers are part of a knowledge value chain

2. Knowledge Economy Transformation

The knowledge economy transforms farmers into natural nutrient developers and natural resource scientists.  Their mission is to develop and perfect new ways to adjust physical, chemical, and economical variables to maximize the nutritional results of the consumer, in a sustainable and affordable way.

Either while developing algae fuel to power a jet engine across the Atlantic, or developing ways to boost the immune system, farmers become a much more integral part of the value chain.

3. Early Starters

The agriculture knowledge economy is emerging through the organic and urban agriculture phenomenons.

Urban agriculture
4. Challenges

In this new era, today's farmers need to make an extraordinary effort to develop knowledge. They must upgrade their real life experience, accumulated over generations, to be able to put in place fast-evolving, evidence-based processes, that result in tracking and correcting local parameters and consumer feedback. In doing so, they will fuse the new and old approach to farming, creating the body of knowledge of the new agricultural era.

The biggest challenge to the agriculture knowledge economy is that old and new are not fusing. If not addressed, older farmers will be excluded from the the high-margin precision agriculture benefits. Moreover, invaluable knowledge will (is being) lost.

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