Crop resilience gets multi-million pound government investment

crop research

Environment secretary, Michael Gove has announced that UK universities and research centres which improve the resilience, sustainability and quality of major crops, will be the lucky recipients of a £5.3 million government fund

The new funding is to develop scientific breakthroughs in crop research and innovation over a period of five years.

The funding will go to four leading agricultural research centres to help develop new technologies and environmentally friendly production for farmers and growers across the country by focusing their efforts into crop research.

The four beneficiaries that will undertake the research are the John Innes Centre, Rothamsted Research, University of Warwick and University of York.

They will focus on boosting productivity for pulses, wheat, leafy vegetables and oilseed rape as part of Defra’s Crop Genetic Improvement Networks (GINs).

Environment Secretary Michael Gove said:

“Developing new technology is crucial to making sure our farmers can continue to grow world-class produce in an environmentally friendly way.

“Through this new fund, I hope to see the creation of new and innovative growing practices and crop protections so we can truly unlock the potential of our food and farming industries.”

Since the inception of Defra’s GINs in 2003, there has been an increased crop resistance to pests and diseases such as orange blossom midge and turnip mosaic virus and pea crops have been significantly enhanced in order to produce high-quality animal feed.

Professor Ian Bancroft, who leads the agricultural research centre at the University of York, said:

“We aim to support industry in long-term, sustainable rapeseed production by utilising UK expertise in plant genetics to better understand specific crop traits.

“Innovation through these networks is essential if we are to see growth in healthy crop production.

“The government has so far invested £160 million through the Agri-Tech Strategy to harness the latest agricultural research and technologies.”

For more from the Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs. 


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