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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

Growing Kent and Medway: Collaborative Research and Development

UK registered businesses can apply for a share of up to £2 million for business-focused innovation in the horticultural food supply chain.

Opens: 06/09/2021 Closes: 20/10/2021

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SMEs Transforming food production: Series A Investor Partnership round 2

UK registered SMEs transforming food production towards net zero can apply for a share of up to £5 million in grant support. This must align with a series A investment. The grant funding is from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.

Opens: 18/10/2021 Closes: 17/11/2021

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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

26.08.2021

Young Innovators Success Stories: Greg Short, Director, FYTO LTD

Electronics engineer Greg Short is on a mission to make food production ultra-local by bringing the benefits of vertical farming to every street corner.

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27.09.2021

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

The ‘SMEs Transforming Food Production: Series A Investor Partnership’ programme is launching its second round. The pool of lead private investors selected for Round 1 is expanding for Round 2, ready to invest alongside grant funding from Innovate UK.

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