Produce more, impact less. This is the challenge that the NFU’s farmer and grower members have set themselves. It’s a big ask for farmers anywhere and at any time.
But as we prepare to enter the second decade of the 21st century, we are in what the Government Chief Scientist John Beddington famously called ‘the perfect storm’: farmers have to grow their crops and livestock in a way that achieves bigger yields and better quality. But we can’t massively increase our use of fertiliser, pesticides, water, energy. Using these inputs certainly has an impact on the farm balance sheet but it also has an impact on soils, air, water courses and biodiversity.
Continue reading A great opportunity for British farmers
Even in the UK, where we have shown little anxiety about our access to food supplies since the days of rationing in World War 2, food security is back on the agenda.
Climate change could, it seems, be the trigger that makes us overcome our squeamishness about genetically modified crops, according to debates in the popular press. The recent Royal Society report “Reaping the benefits: science and the sustainable intensification of global agriculture”, urges universities to work with funding bodies to reverse the decline in subjects relevant to the sustainable intensification of food crop production.
But is technology really going to provide everything that we need or are we simply hoping once again for a quick fix to an extremely complex problem?
Welcome to www.foodsecurity.ac.uk – a new destination on the web for information about the looming food security crisis facing the world and the research underway to help us all to have access to safe, nutritious, affordable and sustainably produced food.
Whether you live in an affluent western country and get your food in the weekly shop from the supermarket or are a subsistence farmer in the developing world, the challenge of food security will change your life in the coming years.
This website aims to bring together articles, video and blog posts for anyone interested in understanding more about food security issues and research.
Continue reading Welcome to the food security website