Farmer-led R&D in the Agriculture Bill

Long-awaited Agriculture Bill announces support for farmer-centred R&D

Earlier this year, the Government ran the Health and Harmony consultation on the future of food and farming policy in England. You can read our response here.

You may well have seen yesterday that Defra and the Rt. Hon. Michael Gove finally announced the Agriculture Bill.

We are delighted read a specific mention of farmer-led R&D, and help with development and adoption of emerging technologies:

"The Bill will also be underpinned by measures to increase productivity and invest in R&D.

For example, there will be funding available for farmers to come together to develop and get the research projects that they want and need, whether that be on soil health or sustainable livestock farming . This will lead to practical gains for farmers that help them become more profitable and reduce their environmental footprint.

The government will also be able to make payments during the seven year transition period for farmers to invest in new technologies and methods that boost productivity." (Defra press release, 12/09/2018)

This is fantastic news! We have been discussing farmer-led R&D with Defra for some time and are delighted that they are keen to support farmers to do research on the challenges that matter most to them.

This is a huge credit to the farmers, advisors and researchers in Innovative Farmers that have driven such interesting Field Labs, showcasing that this approach is wanted, needed and valuable.

We have yet to see the detail of how this support will look, but when we have more detail we will let you know.

Thanks for all your support!

Kate Pressland, Programme Manager

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