£2.75bn funding to aid agriculture research

European Commissioner Phil Hogan has announced £2.75bn will be made available to support agri-innovators…

Speaking at the International Food and Agribusiness Management Association conference in Denmark, European Farming Commissioner Phil Hogan revealed £2.75bn funding is set to be plugged into the agriculture and research sector. The funding will help to finance synergies between agriculture and research until 2020.

Hogan said agriculture policy was “back on the agenda”. He added: “There is €3.6bn (£2.75bn) available at EU level between now and 2020 to fund synergies between agriculture and research, via Horizon 2020 and the European Innovation Partnership for ‘Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability’.

“Around €64 million of that will be dedicated to precision farming and digital technologies in the agriculture sector under the current Horizon 2020 Work Programme 2016-2017, with €30m being invested in the implementation of an ‘Internet of Things Large Scale Pilot’ on smart farming and food security.”

He also warned that while agriculture is on the agenda there is more that needs to be done over the next few years.

“There is evidence that the links between research, farmers and industry are still too weak,” he said.

“Too many innovations are still not being transformed into practical tools, and too many research questions from the sector remain unanswered.

“Agricultural knowledge and innovation systems need to be made more efficient and interactive. And the same goes for food innovation.”

He added: “Making agriculture policy is not sexy.

“It doesn’t grab many headlines. But it can deliver real results; not just for farmers and rural areas, but for society as a whole, and indeed for the planet itself.”

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