Scientists in UK urge more agricultural R&D

| November 21, 2012 |
Forecasts of a world population of 9 billion has prompted the publication on Friday of Feeding the Future, a report backed by UK farming and agriculture support groups that sets out research and innovation priorities up to 2030. It warns of “a serious lack of R&D in agriculture and the urgent need to increase food production in a sustainable way. Despite some cross-sector initiatives there is a lack of ‘big picture’ strategic direction. “It is research and development that drives yields,” says Ian Ashbridge, spokesman for the Institute of Agricultural Management, a contributor to the report. GM – also known as biotechnology or transgenics – remains controversial and has provoked consumer resistance in many European countries. Its use is subject to strict controls in the European Union but its widespread acceptance in Asia and the Americas is beginning to pose serious problems for European growers and food processors.

Forecasts of a world population of 9 billion has prompted the publication on Friday of Feeding the Future, a report backed by UK farming and agriculture support groups that sets out research and innovation priorities up to 2030. It warns of “a serious lack of R&D in agriculture and the urgent need to increase food production in a sustainable way. Despite some cross-sector initiatives there is a lack of ‘big picture’ strategic direction.

“It is research and development that drives yields,” says Ian Ashbridge, spokesman for the Institute of Agricultural Management, a contributor to the report.

GM – also known as biotechnology or transgenics – remains controversial and has provoked consumer resistance in many European countries. Its use is subject to strict controls in the European Union but its widespread acceptance in Asia and the Americas is beginning to pose serious problems for European growers and food processors.

View the original article here: Scientific contributions: Report calls for more use of research to improve crops