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Professor Benton talks food security

Posted 7 February 2012

We need innovation in many areas. There is no silver bullet to produce more food from less land."

Watch the video on our YouTube channel.

Professor Tim Benton

Harper Adams University College was delighted to welcome the UK Champion for Global Food Security to talk to staff and students on Friday. 

Professor Tim Benton outlined the food security challenge, and the aims of Global Food Security, a multi-agency programme bringing together the research interests of the Research Councils, Executive Agencies and Government Departments

Professor Benton, from the University of Leeds, is an interdisciplinary scientist whose work focuses on the relationship between food production and the environment.

He outlined the food security challenge to a packed Harper Adams lecture theatre, explaining that by 2050, there will a global population £9.2billion people to feed, but with no more (and possibly less) land to grow crops on, diminishing resources and a need to ensure environmental and ecological sustainability.

“We need innovation in many areas. There is no silver bullet to produce more food from less land. We need to devise implement and monitor a UK research strategy for global food security,”

Professor Benton said he had been impressed by developments at Harper Adams, including the anaerobic digester which allow the University College to reduce waste, and precision farming, which will allow farmers to make the most of their land. 

University College Principal Dr David Llewellyn: “This was a welcome opportunity to discuss the contribution of Harper Adams to the applied research and higher education necessary to tackle global food security issues and to show Professor Benton a selection of our current work. He was particularly interested to see our engineering work as part of the current aim, which he shares, to ensure that engineering is featured more prominently in addressing global food security.”

Through Global Food Security the partners are working together to support research to meet the challenge of providing the world's growing population with a sustainable, and secure supply of safe, nutritious and affordable high quality food from less land and with lower inputs.

Partner and sponsor organisations are:

  • Research Councils UK - comprising:
  • Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
  • Economic and Social Research Council
  • Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
  • Medical Research Council
  • Natural Environment Research Council
  • Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
  • Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
  • Department for International Development
  • Food Standards Agency
  • Government Office for Science
  • Scottish Government
  • Technology Strategy Board
  • Welsh Government
 

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