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Crops

Plants and crops underpin the health, wellbeing and food security of our growing population. We depend on them through direct consumption or indirectly via livestock consumption.

Plants and crops play a key role through ecosystem services that improve our quality quality of life. The economic, social and environmental value of crops, forests and horticulture is estimated to around £9bn per year.

The UK is home of some of the highest crop yields in the world, where 1 ha of land in the UK is equivalent to 2 ha elsewhere in the world. That’s down to the UK’s favourable climate, knowledgeable farmers and agronomists, its world leading universities and R&D organisations, and companies. New and old challenges make innovation in the sector an increasingly important matter. The agriculture land is under pressure due to urbanisation for a growing population, the ban of pesticides by the EU in recent years has been putting entire crops at risk of failure, a pressure to decrease the use of chemical fertilisers that are the leading cause of pollution in the production of plants and crops, unpredictable and extreme weather events due to climate change, combined with a decrease of seasonal workers in agriculture due to Brexit and more recently COVID-19. This means increasing land productivity in a sustainable manner is key for the future of agriculture in the UK.

We’ve got expertise across the plant and crop industry and research. The plants and crops team has key connections with many stakeholders within industry, academia, government and others to enable consortia building and provide clear direction to those looking to innovate in this area of AgriFood. Our experience includes but isn’t limited to crop breeding, integrated pest management, precision and smart agriculture, vertical farming, biostimulants, biopesticides, helping to improve crop productivity and sustainability.

Our Crops Expert

Pedro Carvalho

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Funding Opportunities

African agriculture knowledge transfer partnerships (KTP): 2020 to 2021, round 5

UK registered higher or further education institutions, RTOs or Catapults can apply for a share of up to £2 million to help fund an innovation project with another knowledge base and a business partner registered in Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya or South Africa.

Opens: 02/11/2020 Closes: 27/01/2021

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Smart Farming Innovations for Small-Scale Producers

The Gates Foundation seeks Smart Farming solutions that leverage digital technology innovations that have the potential to drive positive impact for smallscale producer (SSP) entrepreneurs, primarily in Africa and Asia.

Opens: 19/10/2020 Closes: 25/02/2021

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Recorded: 25th August

Africa-UK AgriFood Innovation Mission 2020 - Week 6

KTN and Innovate UK are pleased to launch stage two of the virtual missions in July and August as part of the GCRF AgriFood Africa Programme.

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News

15.10.2020

Meet the investors ready to invest in AgriTech SMEs working towards net zero emissions

The ‘SMEs transforming food production: series A investor partnership’ programme has selected a pool of lead private investors who are ready to invest alongside grant funding from Innovate UK.

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16.11.2020

Net zero emissions in agriculture

With the UK on a mission to reach net zero emissions by 2050, the AgriFood sector is rising to the challenge.

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