What is Crop Health and Protection (CHAP)?

CHAP is one of four Centres for Agricultural Innovation and a key component of the government’s agri-tech strategy.

The simple fact is that climate change and a range of other factors including anticipated population growth and the degradation of ecosystems is making it increasingly difficult to meet the long term global demand for food. To feed the growing world population, it is imperative we increase our crop yield. This means we need to focus on the protection of crops, microbes and soils from economically damaging pests, pathogens & weeds.

CHAP is designed to make sure that the knowledge and insight from the UK’s science base is translated into benefits for farmers, growers and the food industry both at home and internationally. The government and industry believe that wider adoption of science and technological innovation is the key to unlocking the potential of farming by improving productivity and tackling problems such as soil erosion, adapting to climate change, managing the impact of pests and diseases, depleting natural resources, and providing environmentally friendly solutions.

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What are today’s crop production challenges?

The world population is predicted to be 9.1 billion by 2050. Crop production will have to increase by 70% to meet people’s food demands by this time.
The agriculture sector must contribute to economic prosperity and the preservation of rural areas to help maintain and enhance our natural resources. This challenge is made more complex by increased resilience of pests and pathogens to existing pesticide treatments, the reduction of available chemical  interventions and the need for alternative solutions.

What is CHAP doing about it?

CHAP unites industry and research partners to translate and apply science and new technology into practice as quickly as possible in the field.
CHAP is open to all. We unite industry, research and scientists, translating the knowledge and insight from the UK’s science base into benefits for farmers, growers, agronomists, chemical companies, food processors, food retailers and seed companies both at home and internationally.

How is CHAP funded?

The agri-tech strategy was announced in July 2013 with £160m of funding. In March 2016 Crop Health and Protection Limited (CHAP) was formed and allocated £22.9m over four years 2015/16 to 2018/2019. CHAP is funded by BEIS (Department for Business, Energy, Industry and Strategy) through Innovate UK.

CEO Report – by Fraser Black

I am excited and honoured to have been invited to become the new CHAP CEO at this critical time for the agriculture sector. I am looking forward to pressing the accelerator and navigating a clear course built on all the hard work that the Board and Executive team have been doing over the past 12 months. I have over 30 years’ commercial experience (sales, marketing, and business and market development) in the Bioscience industry. I have a passion for both the development and adoption of innovation to drive health and wealth and I am absolutely committed to the driving principle behind CHAP, which is that science, technological and process innovation is the key to raising crop productivity through transforming our approach to the management of weeds, pests, diseases, water and soil.

CHAP has several new and cutting edge capabilities coming on stream in 2018. This includes the E_flows mesocom, which will provide a unique testbed for agrochemicals and other products, the Soil Unit at Cranfield, the Fine Phenotyping facility at Rothamsted, a new Biopesticide Screening facility and new LED lit vertical farm facility at Stockbridge. We will also be working on a number of exciting new projects which we will be taking forward for funding rounds, whilst hosting regular engagement days to identify more opportunities.

I look forward to meeting you during the course of this year, so that, together, we can make a real difference for farmers, growers and the food industry both at home and abroad.

Board Members



CHAP – Crop Health and Protection
National Agri-Food Innovation Campus
Sand Hutton
YO41 1LZ


01904 462062


General enquiries:
Katie Edwards – Office Manager
Charlotte Milligan – Head of Policy & Communications

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