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Harper Adams and the International Network for Economic Research host successful virtual symposium.

Posted 6 October

“Running the conference this way, has enabled us to raise the profile of the GIATE to the academic world on a truly global basis.”

The Global Institute for Agri-Tech Economics at Harper Adams University, in conjunction with the International Network for Economic Research (INFER), recently hosted its third annual symposium “Agri-Tech Economics for Sustainable Futures”.

The successful symposium was a virtual event for the first time this year, allowing more participants from further afield to attend.

The event was opened by Harper Adams Vice Chancellor Dr David Llewellyn, who introduced Harper Adams University’s agri-tech focus and developments, and was followed by two keynote presentations from Tom Bradshaw, Vice-President of the National Farmers Union (UK), who spoke about the farmer’s perspective of Agri-Tech and its contribution to meet the challenges of contemporary agriculture, and Phil Bicknell, Director of Market Intelligence at the Agricultural and Horticultural Development Board (UK) who spoke about the eternal challenge of traversing the nexus of science and technology into farm practice and the role of Agri-Tech economics.

Professor James Lowenberg-DeBoer, Elizabeth Creak Chair of Agri-Tech Economics at Harper Adams University, followed, talking about a recent review on the longer-term impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic on European agriculture.

This symposium provided an opportunity for all those interested in the topic of Agri-Tech Economics for Sustainable Futures to discuss their research and to exchange ideas. Researchers presented both empirical and theoretical papers that were broadly consistent with the symposium’s special topics:

-Agri-Tech Economics and Sustainable Landscapes

-Spatial Econometrics in Precision Agriculture -Agri-Tech Adoption

-Agricultural productivity and markets

The event was jointly organised by HAU, GIATE and INFER. Further keynote speeches were presented by Prof. Robert Finger from ETH Zurich (Switzerland), Prof. Dayton Lambert from Oklahoma State University (USA) and Prof George Halkos from University of Thessaly (Greece).

Over two days, 165 delegates from 31 countries heard presentations from 25 speakers from 17 countries.

Delighted with the level of participation, conference organiser Dr Dimitrios Paparas said “The success of this event can be measured in contrast with our two previous conferences held at Harper Adams, which were attended by 30 people. Running the conference this way, has enabled us to raise the profile of the GIATE to the academic world on a truly global basis, which and we are already seeing the benefits of in terms of people wanting to work with us.”

Prof Oscar Cacho, from the University of New England in Australia, commented: “Great start to the symposium, with three excellent presenters. Thanks from us on the other side of the world. One unexpected advantage of Ccovid-19 is that we are able to participate in this event.”

Josep-Maria Arauzo-Carod, -Vice Chair of INFER, added: “The 3rd INFER ONLINE Symposium on Agri-Tech Economics for Sustainable Futures is an excellent output from the collaboration between INFER and Harper Adams University. We hope to strengthen this collaboration in the future and to explore new ways to work in joint projects as successful as this one.”

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