Dr Paul Kersey is the Deputy Director of Science at Kew Royal Botanical Gardens. His particular interest is genomics and bioinformatics, which play an increasing role in Kew’s scientific mission. Paul is taking part in the Sofa Session at REAP 2021, so ahead of the conference we asked him what the theme of time means to him.
“A good farm vet now needs to be able to understand data, statistics and the risks to really advise and help the farmer and this includes the implementation of technology,” Matthew Dobbs, a former farm vet and now Digital Practice Lead for Stonehaven Consultancy is joining the Sofa Session at REAP 2021.
“The wealth of publicly available data from the Copernicus programme is a fantastic resource to monitor climate change and land use change, and to provide information at landscape scale,” comments Dr Tewkesbury of Airbus, a speaker in the Sofa Session of REAP 2021.
As part of a national objective to increase food security, the Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO) has identified agri-tech is one of the priorities for investment. This is all towards Sheikh Zayed’s vision of turning the desert green #GrowWithAbuDhabi.
“Farmers urgently need a better understanding of how their operations will be expected to decarbonise by supply chains and banks, what carbon assets may be available to sell as an alternative source of revenue,” says Emily Norton, Head of Rural Research at Savills. “It is critical to ensure that farmers lead this conversation, both to take ownership of the problems and to engage with the market opportunities.”
REAP keynote, Professor Webb says we are at a tipping point where “we’ve got the fundamental biological knowledge and we’ve got the means to exploit it – with expensive automation like robots, cheap automation like smart irrigation, with smart data analysis tools and the ultimate: Controlled Environment Agriculture.”
“We’ve seen increasingly that UK companies are become interested in establishing a European entity and the Netherlands provides a very accessible environment for that,” says Judith van de Bovenkamp, International Project Manager at Oost NL, the East Netherlands Development Agency. Oost NL will be returning to REAP to take part in the International Café and build on its relationships within the agri-tech community.
Timing for the harvest this year is extremely challenging, said farmer Tom Pearson at the start of September. “50% of our crop is still in the ground unharvested because we’ve not been able to get any haulage to take wet grain to dryers.” Technologies to remove time constraints are to be discussed at REAP 2021.
Tom Pearson is transitioning his farm to regenerative agriculture, he is looking forward to the debate at REAP: “It is incredibly helpful to get a feel for what’s going on and get an idea of where things are going.”