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Key agri-engineering report launched

15 June 2012

IAgrE President Andy Newbold introduced the report
IAgrE President Andy Newbold introduced the report

I welcome this report in highlighting the importance of agricultural and Biosystems engineering in contributing to these advances." - Government Chief Scientist, Sir John Beddington.


Sir John Beddington and Andy Newbold
Sir John Beddington and Andy Newbold

A report on the role Agricultural Engineering can play in securing future food supplies was launched at Harper Adams University College today. 

“Agricultural Engineering – a key discipline enabling agriculture to deliver global food security” was introduced by Government Chief Scientist Professor Sir John Beddington, who had just opened two education and research centres at the University College (more here).  The report was stimulated by discussions with Sir John and comes in response to the UK Government’s Foresight Project:  Global Food and Farming Futures

The report outlines the challenges ahead: “There are formidable challenges, which will increase markedly over the next 40 years, if we are to improve global food security under the pressure of increasing world population, little or no new farm land, and the need to conserve natural resources and minimise environmental pollution.

"Sustainable intensification of agriculture is needed and the report emphasizes the important role agricultural engineering will play in delivering this goal.  It highlights the opportunities that engineering, allied with other disciplines, is already offering as part of a vision for future global food security.”

Andy Newbold, President of IAgrE, said: “Engineering has a major contribution to make to the required advances in sustainable farming and food, in sympathy with the environment. The UK response to global food security will be much stronger if agricultural engineering is recognised as a critical component, capable of breaking down traditional barriers and enhancing multidisciplinary approaches to the challenges,” 

The report advocates:

  • A new approach to encourage  strategic engagement of public and private sector stakeholders for agriculture and the food chain with the UK engineering sector, from education and research through to business and practical application.
     
  • The development of education and training in agricultural engineering.
     
  • The establishment of an active research programme in engineering for agriculture.
     
  • A partnership approach to translating research and innovation into practice.

The report also illustrates the importance of agricultural and biosystems engineering in contributing to advances in technologies, processes and knowledge that can help make farming methods and practices more sustainable, while having less impact on the environment.   

“Deploying new and existing technologies, processes and knowledge that help make farming methods and practices more sustainable, while having less impact on the environment will be important. I welcome this report in highlighting the importance of agricultural and Biosystems engineering in contributing to these advances,” said Government Chief Scientist, Sir John Beddington.

Harper Adams University College was thanked for its contributions to the report. Harper Adams is home to the National Centre for Precision Farming, which was created to bring together stakeholders to develop and share knowledge of smart farming technologies. 

Click  here to download a pdf copy of this report

 

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