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.