Agribusiness Matters: 2020 Year in Review

Complete 2020 RoundUp with a smattering of personal reflections.

Dear Readers,

2020 is finally drawing its curtains! Phew!! I am not going to bore you with subscription stats and the usual rigmarole. I will share a quick roundup of everything I have been publishing since June 25th when I started the Substack newsletter edition and paywalled it in the month of August. (My older LinkedIn “Agribusiness Matters” newsletter predates this youngling substack newsletter easily by couple of years, incase you are keen to dig into my shady past lives:))

Orientation for new readers: My name is Venky. I write Agribusiness Matters every week to have a straight talk on Digital Agriculture, Agritech and Agribusiness Matters. Because let's face it. Agribusiness matters, especially as it stands in the nick of transformation. If you wish to join the Agribusiness Matters Tribe, consider becoming a subscriber.

This black-humoresque cartoon from my creative genius friend Hari Krishnan sums up my mood as I write this in a gloomy Starbucks cafe on the penultimate day of the year! (Fellow Indian readers would get the Amar-Chithra-Katha cultural reference subtext)

All is well, that ends well, I guess!

If you are reading this now, you have all reasons to bid adieu to 2020! Honestly, it feels insensitive to even say things like, “Happy New Year” and all the rest of it.

We’ve managed to survive, in a year which saw, as per the latest data, 1.75m deaths. Many of us lost our dear jobs, dearer lives, and several untold miseries played out in this collective theater of disbelief called 2020!

In such gloomy times, it feels like a privilege to survive and thrive, without a paycheque income. Many thanks to subscribers, who’ve been kind enough to support this coltish subscription newsletter experiment that I have been doing at their expense.

My most recent newsletter, Can I Offer You A Grey Pill on Farm Laws, I suppose, must have caught many off-guard. As it was the end of the year, I decided to push the boundaries of what is acceptable in spaces like these. The deafening silence that accompanied the post (albeit with decent read stats) taught me many things that are taken for granted in our public discourse on sustainable agriculture.

On to the roundup.

Those in Italics are available only for subscribers.

Farm Laws and its Discontentment Politics

1) The Story of Agriculture in India So Far

2) No Country for Middlemen

3) In Defense of Government

4) Samudra Manthan (Oceanic Churning) of Indian Agriculture

5) Mapping the Politics of Farm Laws

6) Can I Offer You a Grey Pill on Farm Laws

Supply Chain and Agri-Input Retailing

1) Beer Game of Agri-Input Retail

2) Netafim India’s Beer Game Problems

3)The Politics of Agri-Input Middlemen in Agri-Input Retail

4)Udaanisation of Agri-Input Supply Chain

5) When Bayer Met Agrostar

6) A Tale of Two Algorithms

7) Unmagic Quadrant on Digital Agronomy

8) 3 Lessons on Digital Agronomy from the Department of the Bleeding Obvious

9) Plantix and Jevons’ Paradox Revisited

10) Shirky Principle and Eternal War Footing Against Spurious Agri-Inputs

11) Can Agri-Inputs Be Original 4 Sure?

The Small Holder Farmer’s Precarious Predicament

1) Rethinking the Defaults of Agribusiness in the age of Pandemic

2) What does it take to make markets work for smallholder farmers in India?

3) What if We Believed in Indian Agtech to solve the Agrarian Crisis

4) Finite and Infinite Games in Agriculture

Emerging Agritech Business Models

1) Will the Real Agritech Platform Please StandUp?

2) Four Ways to Lawfully Kill the Promise of Agtech

3) Plantix and the Two Roads to Digital Agriculture

Thank you for reading! I hope to see you around, safe and sound, in January 2021!