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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

Horticultural Quality and Food Loss Network: May 2021 opportunities

The Horticultural Quality and Food Loss Network is providing £90k for pump-priming funds for feasibility studies and preliminary data collection, ring-fenced funds for Early Career Researchers, £5k for Business Interaction Vouchers, and £5k for Networking Visit Funding, open to all UK based researchers at UKRI eligible institutions.

Opens: 04/05/2021 Closes: 06/08/2021

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Tree Production Innovation Fund

Innovation fund supporting plant nurseries to increase and diversify domestic tree supply.

Opens: 01/07/2021 Closes: 08/09/2021

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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

10.03.2021

Plant Biostimulants and their potential role in sustainable agricultural production systems

At KTN, we connect ideas, people and communities to help drive net zero innovation. Plant
Biostimulants have the potential to play an important role in sustainable agricultural
production systems.

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13.07.2021

How the KTN AgriFood team gets insight into the sector to shape its work

Our team of AgriFood expert keeps in touch with three groups for key agrifood areas: plant, food and animal. Hearing directly from people working in the sector helps us understand current opportunities, challenges and priorities so that we can adapt our work.

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