Modern farming owes much to long-standing research that continues to pump out results and to provide valuable perspectives to guide the future of agricultural science, achievements that will be celebrated at a three-day international conference in May.
Agriculture has just over a decade to adapt and evolve to new ways of working that will enable it to feed a growing global population without causing lasting damage to the environment, says Achim Dobermann, Director and Chief Executive of Rothamsted Research.
“We will put the UK at the forefront of the global move to high-efficiency agriculture,” says the 255-page white paper. “Over the coming years, we will increase the incentives for investment in sustainable agriculture, helping to grow the markets for innovative technologies and techniques.”
The announcement, says the statement, follows advice in October from the UK government’s advisory body on pesticides, the Expert Committee on Pesticides (ECP). Scientific evidence now suggests that the environmental risks posed by neonicotinoids are greater than previously understood, says the ECP advice.
Rothamsted Research has secured government funding to kick-start its new five-year strategic programme, Smart Crop Protection (SCP), to control sustainably the pests, pathogens and weeds that destroy nearly a third of crops grown worldwide. The investment of circa £6.3 million covers the programme’s first three years.