Food Supply

The global agricultural industry faces major challenges as it aims to produce sufficient food to meet anticipated future demand.  Global population growth, climate change and resource depletion are the most significant challenges.  The global population is expected to grow from 6.7 billion today to 8.3 billion in 20 years time, with the UK population forecast to grow from 61 million to 70 million over the same period, according to the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs.

While the increasing global demand for food will create a market opportunity for UK businesses throughout the food supply chain, a steady decline in the area of land available for food production, combined with an increasing regulatory burden and the need to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, pose considerable technical challenges to increasing productivity sustainably using existing technologies.

New technology-based solutions are needed to overcome these challenges.  We recognise the opportunity this presents and aim to ensure that UK business is well placed to deliver solutions to these challenges.

To  date , through collaborative research and development competitions we have funded many projects from across the industry including:

·         new approaches to crop protection,

·         increasing the domestic supply of sustainably produced vegetable protein for farmed animals and fish

·         improving conversion efficiency in animal production systems and reducing waste in the food chain to the point of retail sale.

Going forward we will fund activities in other priority areas.  These are likely to include, but are not restricted to, the food processing and manufacturing sector, integrated production systems, precision agriculture and initiatives that address soil, water and nutrient-management efficiency.

Last updated on Tuesday 08 May 2012 at 11:16

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