Auto Trader Ltd
Farminguk
24 August 2016 | Online since 2003
Less co2 Limited


12 October 2012 15:17:51 |

UK must unlock agricultural science potential says MP


Not enough is being done to unlock the UK's agricultural science base in a world hungry for food according to Conservative MP George Freeman.
The MP told delegates at the Crop Protection Association fringe meeting in Birmingham.

Unveiling the thinking behind a new agri-science strategy to be launched next Spring by the coalition Government, Freeman, life sciences adviser to Science Minister David Willetts and chair of the All-Party Group on Science and Technology in Agriculture, believes Britain must reverse a 20 year decline in applied agricultural research and dispel the myth that environmental sustainability is a barrier to economic growth – in fact the two are inextricably linked.

As Britain looks to trade itself out of a debt crisis, he said access to scientific innovation would be vital not only to support a competitive food and farming sector at home, but also to drive technology-based exports and attract inward investment from emerging global agricultural economies in countries such as Brazil, China and India.

Professor Maurice Moloney of Rothamsted Research agreed that the challenge of feeding a rapidly increasing global population, in the face of a ‘perfect storm’ of rising food prices, climate change and pressure on the world’s natural resources, could not be met without access to innovation and new technology in agriculture.

This would require a shift in EU policy-making, he said, and a new recognition that modern intensive farming and environmental protection can go hand-in-hand as the most effective way to produce more food while conserving enough land to deliver biodiversity and other ecosystem services.

Speaking on behalf of CPA, Dr Julian Little of Bayer CropScience highlighted the damaging inflationary effects of spiralling food prices, and the vital role of technological innovation in keeping food costs down through higher yields and increased production efficiency.

Innovative new chemistry offered smarter solutions, he said, not only in controlling problem weeds and diseases, but also in boosting output - for example by allowing plants to remain greener for longer so promoting photosynthesis in the growing crop.

First generation farmer Robert Law, of Conservation Grade, said rising food prices and the impact of climate change had brought increased recognition of the growing food security crisis. Few people today questioned the need to ramp up production, but the key issue was how to do it.

Law said organic farming would not feed the world, but that GM technology – properly tested and without the current hype and hysteria – offered the potential to increase yields and reduce production costs.

Speaking after the fringe event, CPA communications manager Wendy Gray said: “This discussion has highlighted a growing recognition, among politicians, scientists, farmers and industry, that sustainable intensification in agriculture cannot be delivered without access to the latest advances in science and technology. The crop protection sector is leading a fresh debate about the need to re-think modern intensive agriculture and its role in providing a secure supply of safe, affordable, healthy food.”

Download

1 Comment

loginuserlogo
Name

Please enter your name


Email

Please enter your email

Please enter valid email


Comment

Please enter your comment


Post Comment

Your comment has been submitted successfully. Please wait for admin approval.


Comments


Canada | 24 August 2016
Canadian farmers see bumper wheat crop as rain curbs quality

Canada’s wheat production will rise more than expected this year, adding to a global glut of the grain, while canola output will probably decrease, according to a government report. Wheat output wi...


France | 24 August 2016
Lactalis ready to discuss milk prices with angry French farmers

Europe's largest dairy producer, Lactalis, said on Tuesday it was ready to renegotiate milk prices paid to producers after hundreds of farmers protested outside its headquarters in northwestern France...


Japan | 24 August 2016
Is Japan's wagyu beef bubble bound to burst?

Bad news for high-end beef lovers: Japan’s Wagyu bubble could be on the verge of bursting. Prized Wagyu calves are currently fetching wildly inflated prices, says Nikkei Asian Review, and "If sky-high...


USA | 24 August 2016
Grassley to hold hearing on agriculture mergers next month

Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley said Tuesday he will hold a hearing next month to discuss a wave of consolidation among seed and chemical producers, including the merger of Dow and DuPont. The chairman of...


Kenya | 24 August 2016
Should agriculture be a required school subject?

Despite the grumbling of many frustrated American school kids taking math tests, the broad subjects required in public schools each have firm arguments for their respective inclusion. But that does...



Trending Now

Viewed
Discussed


Top stories you may have missed
FarmingUK
FarmingUK Logo

FarmingUK

The sustained recovery of pig prices since the spring has come at a time wh...


FarmingUK
FarmingUK Logo

FarmingUK

A World Trade Organisation (WTO) panel has declared the Russian import ban ...


FarmingUK
FarmingUK Logo

FarmingUK

A new study has linked oilseed rape crops grown from neonicotinoid-treated ...


FarmingUK
FarmingUK Logo

FarmingUK

Philip Hammond is to guarantee billions of pounds of UK government investme...


FarmingUK
FarmingUK Logo

FarmingUK

Access to the foreign labour market is 'critical', according the chief exec...


FarmingUK
FarmingUK Logo

FarmingUK

The Tenant Farmers Association has said the National Trust's vision for a p...


FarmingUK
FarmingUK Logo

FarmingUK

Ulster farmers will 'not lie down and wave the white flag' when Brexit nego...


FarmingUK
FarmingUK Logo

FarmingUK

The cost of rural crime to the UK economy costs £42.5 million a year, accor...


FarmingUK
FarmingUK Logo

FarmingUK

A young farmers club member from Oxfordshire has created a petition on the ...


FarmingUK
FarmingUK Logo

FarmingUK

The farming sector has reacted negatively to a proposal to reintroduce the ...


closeicon
Username
Password