Productivity key to unlocking future opportunities in agriculture

A new report published this week by the Food & Drink Sector Council (FDSC), to which the UK’s Agri-Tech Centres contributed, highlights the critical role of technology in the transformation of the UK’s farming industry.

The report was prepared for the FDSC by the Agricultural Productivity Working Group (and associated Task and Finish sub-groups), on which Agri-EPI CEO Dave Ross represented the Joint Centres. The report states that the industry and government must together seize the opportunities presented by new policy frameworks and technology to lead the transformation.

With the UK leaving the EU, imminent changes to agricultural policy and the pressure to achieve net zero emissions, the report highlights the steps that industry and government can take together to overcome the productivity challenge that has long faced the British farming industry.

Agri-EPI’s Dave Ross said: “Alongside fellow industry experts, I worked on this report to outline the priority steps we believe must be taken to maximise agricultural productivity during this unprecedented time for UK agriculture.

“As our report highlights, there is a fundamental need for farming to become more data-driven, allowing performance measurement and the sharing of data for comparison between farms. This will require a range of actions around safe and effective data sharing and use. The report’s further recommendation for an Evidence-Based Farming (EBF) Initiative will be a key part of developing data use in agriculture.  I am confident that Agri-EPI’s existing Satellite Farm network, along with the other Centres’ extensive networks, will play an important role in a new EBF programme.”

Speaking on behalf of the UK’s four Agri-Tech Centres (Agri-EPI Centre, Agrimetrics, CHAP and CIEL) Lyndsay Chapman, Chief Executive of CIEL, said: “We very much welcome the recognition given in this new report to the critical role of agri-tech innovation and data.  As farming faces unprecedented challenges, it is essential that farmers and food businesses have access to accurate information, allowing them to make the best management decisions. The Centres’ shared vision is to drive greater efficiency, resilience and wealth for UK farmers and the wider agrifood sector.”

Read the full report on the FDSC website: http://www.fdsc.org.uk/fdsc/publications.aspx


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