Cutting-edge farming projects aiming to boost food production, move towards net zero and create a more resilient and sustainable agricultural sector will benefit from a share of a £30m government funding boost. Projects to benefit from the funding boost include genetics research projects which could reduce methane emissions in cattle by 17%, and produce a reliable UK-grown protein source that can replace soya. More than 50 successful projects, including investigations into using drones and AI to inspect and monitor animals, will be awarded with funding from today. In addition, a further £12.5 million has been made available to fund projects delivering a more productive, resilient and sustainable agricultural sector. The funding is all part of the Farming Innovation Programme which is run in partnership with UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and delivered by Innovate UK, which is making £270 million in grants available before the end of the agricultural transition to fund research and development projects to help farmers produce food more sustainably. Therese Coffey, secretary of state for agriculture, said: “Farmers are always forward-looking, and innovation is key to driving forward a resilient, productive and sustainable agriculture sector that puts food on our tables whilst protecting and restoring the environment. “Alongside our new farming schemes, these grants will help to support farmers and pave the way for a technological transformation that will help produce food sustainably for generations to come.” Executive director of healthy living and agriculture of Innovate UK, Katrina Hayter, said: “The competitions once again demonstrate the sheer breadth and quality of innovation within the UK agri-food space. We’re proud to be able to help deliver these funding and partnership opportunities to the sector, bringing together farmers, growers, technologists and researchers in a common aim of making the UK food system more sustainable and resilient. “Whether improving existing production or introducing novel foods and techniques, the winners have all risen to the innovation challenge and we look forward to supporting their development further.” This comes following the package of support announced at this month’s Farm to Fork Summit, including investment into precision breeding following royal assent for the Genetic Technology (precision Breeding) Act.
Journalist. Spent 15 years in Primary Education before a career change to journalism. Enjoys swimming, reading, creative writing and spending time with family at home and abroad.