Food Insight has an interesting article on the directions agriculture is taking:
Food and agricultural research enables the discovery of new uses for tools used in other industries, also known as applying the “theory of the long nose” – if it works for them, then why not for us?
Personally, I see the agricultural sector “shrinking” and looking less and less futuristic as time goes on, not moreso. At least the part that’s consumer facing.
There’s a concept called the Arc of Decentralization, which is the tendency for industries to eventually be broken into smaller pieces as technology advances. I think there’s a natural preference for food to be small, and it only got big out of necessity because there weren’t any other ways to feed people during the population bulge in the Industrial Age.
They also write:
Catlett spoke about involved the aging baby boomer population. As they get older, many will need assisted care. Some in agriculture are exploring putting nursing homes on their farms where the elderly could interact with animals and take part in planting activities, while at the same time supporting farmers by purchasing milk, vegetables and other farm products.
Here, we’re on the same page. One of the problems with small scale farming is that its much more labor intensive than large scale farming, which uses lots of machines. With high unemployment, an aging population, and a natural preference for local food, I think we’ll see farms popping up in small spots that wouldn’t typically be used for farming in the past.