Some inspirational thinkers share their views of different aspects of agri-tech.
There is a big market demand for locally grown plant-based proteins but land area for alternative crops has not increased for the last 40 years – are UK farmers missing an opportunity?
“To provide more resilience against climate uncertainty everywhere as quickly as possible, we have started building a global inventory –with UK/Europe first – of land assets such as those just described and then mapping them at speed.” says Mark Hodgson, Chief Business Officer at Cervest. “We may be putting our livelihoods at risk unless we accurately and objectively understand how climate uncertainty effects the assets we rely on, and have a better way to manage them.”
“We need to get honest about three things: the economics; the climate impact; and the range and quality of things that we can actually grow. Until we start to get a really serious narrative about that, the CEA industry will never move forward,” says David Farquhar, CEO of Intelligent Growth Solutions.
A chance e-mail from a young couple passionate about wine created an exciting opportunity for a traditional Norfolk farm to diversify. Flint Vineyard had its first harvest in 2019 diversification . Ben and Hannah Witchell shared their plans for producing quality wine in the UK and very soon Flint Vineyards was up and running. The vineyard had its first harvest in 2019, which promises to be a vintage year for English wines. Ben will talk about the journey in the February 2020 Pollinator.
Adrian Percy, former Global Head of R&D for Crop Science at Bayer, is to chair the Sofa Session at REAP
“Robot swarms will enable truly precise agriculture – targeted spraying of individual plants, and selective harvesting of crops that are actually ripe – rather than treating an entire field identically,” comments Alan Millard ahead of the swarm robotics event.
There is a big market opportunity for controlled environment agriculture (CEA) according to Rhydian Beynon-Davies, Head of Novel Growing Systems at Stockbridge Technology Centre (STC). He comments: “The world will need sustainable solutions to an increasing extent in the future and we should be the ones to supply those solutions.”
A decade-long trial involving 21 million Chinese smallholders has shown it is possible to significantly improve crop yields while cutting use of nitrogen fertiliser by
Sustainable food production can only be achieved with a clear market-focus and a degree of pragmatism, believes Mark Suthern, National Head of Agriculture at Barclays,