Agriculture has historically depended on disruptive discoveries and innovations to make big strides.
In the 20th century, four innovations brought about change in agriculture: genetics (seeds), mechanisation, fertilizers and pesticides. These four innovations allowed more food, feed and fiber to be produced from less and less land. These innovations disrupted the status quo and created immense benefit to farmers and consumers.
They fit what Clayton Christensen, a professor at the Harvard Business School, described in 1997 as a “disruptive technology” (DT) – one that displaces an established technology and shakes up the industry or a ground-breaking product that creates a completely new industry.