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Producers urge for greater emphasis on food science research

Producers urge for greater emphasis on food science research

The development of modern technology and the genetic modification of crops and animals are two of the main research priorities outlined by a group of producers seeking to try and influence the government's agri-technology strategy.

The document, entitled Feeding the Future - Innovation Requirements for Primary Food Production in the UK to 2030, is the first of its kind to be published, and aims to identify gaps in the current research while scanning areas across both agriculture and horticulture that are in need of further innovation.  

The report is set to be taken to some of the most prominent funders of research and development within both the public and the private sectors, including the government itself.

It was led by a joint commissioning group representing the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board, the National Farmers' Union (NFU), NFU Scotland, the Agricultural Industries Confederation, and the Royal Agricultural Society of England (RASE).

Some of the other priorities outlined in the report include using a system-based approach to gain a better understanding between soil, water and the process of animals and crops, as well as developing integrated approaches to effectively manage weeds and pests, as well as the management of animal diseases within farming systems.

"This report clearly lays out the research requirements of farmers. We hope that it will become a key reference document for both policy makers and funders over the coming years and we look forward to new applied research making a major contribution to the performance of our farms" said David Gardner, chief Executive at RASE.

NFU president Peter Kendall echoed such sentiments, stating that the report clearly outlined what was required of UK farmers in order to improve productivity, and that it should be referred to by policy makers and funders over the next few years, particularly during a time when many are looking forward to the boost in research and knowledge that could provide a major contribution towards the performance of the industry.


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