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Hutton research contributes to parliamentary report on agriculture trends

Picture of tractor farming a field (c) James Hutton Institute
"Agriculture is becoming increasingly difficult as the climate changes, consumer attitudes and behaviours change, and we strive for sustainable routes to enhance productivity and crop quality. The James Hutton Institute, along with its partners, is determined to deliver solutions in these areas"

Researchers from the James Hutton Institute have contributed to a briefing produced by the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST) which outlines key drivers of global agricultural trends and the challenge of safeguarding both food production and environmental value in a changing world.

Professor Derek Stewart, Hutton agrifood sector lead and a contributor to the report, said: “These briefings are essential to keep the UK Parliament informed on topics central to our way of life. 

“Agriculture is becoming increasingly difficult as the climate changes, consumer attitudes and behaviours change, and we strive for sustainable routes to enhance productivity and crop quality. The James Hutton Institute, along with its collaborative partners, is determined to deliver solutions in the key areas identified below.”

Key findings of the POST briefing include:

  • Global requirements for food are changing. These include demand for higher quality products in developed countries and for higher protein diets in developing countries.
  • Increasing future levels of agricultural production will be challenged by factors such as climate change, declining soil quality and agricultural land availability.
  • Attitudes and behaviours of consumers affect production, such as trends in consumption of meat, demand for organic vegetables or locally sourced products.
  • Regulation of the use of pesticides and fertilisers, and subsidies for technology will affect farmers’ choices, farm productivity, and may drive innovation.
  • New agricultural technologies being developed to aid production include robots, drones, satellites and sensors.
  • New breeding techniques may produce crops and livestock with novel traits or accelerate the ability to deploy known traits.

POST briefings are based on literature reviews and interviews with a range of stakeholders and are externally peer reviewed.

The full report is available from the UK Parliament website.

More information from: 

Bernardo Rodriguez-Salcedo, Media Manager, Tel: +44 (0)1224 395089 (direct line), +44 (0)344 928 5428 (switchboard) or +44 (0)7791 193918 (mobile).


Printed from /news/hutton-research-contributes-parliamentary-report-agriculture-trends on 06/12/19 08:23:50 PM

The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.