New Government Strategy Could See Huge Growth for Agriculture
For the first time, the government’s Department for Business and Innovation, the Department for Environmental Food and Rural Affairs and the Department for International Development have joined forces with the food and farming industry.
The Agricultural Technologies Strategy, launched in July, is designed to boost the agricultural industry through a £160million scheme that promises to bridge the gap between research and practice.
Included in the plans are a £10million Centre for Agricultural Informatics and Metrics of Sustainability and a £70million Agri-Tech ‘catalyst’, with a further £10million set aside for the implementation of new technologies and the provision of new products in developing countries.
While the government has a long history of drawing up schemes that sound good on paper but do little in the way of promoting change on the ground, the Agricultural Technologies Scheme is unique both in its collaboration between departments, research institutions and the agricultural industry itself, and in its emphasis on pre-competitive collaboration.
According to the executive summary, the scheme is designed in such a way that the government acts more like a business in its own right than a regulating or funding body. The aim is to fund innovation and increase production across the board, rather than favouring one product or farming system over another.
The Agri-Tech industry is one of the UK’s most important sectors, bringing in £96billion a year to the economy. On top of this there are rapid developments in all areas of the industry, from genetics and nutrition to satellite imaging and precision farming. The government has identified key strengths within the industry that the scheme aims to support:
• Some of the world’s best universities and institutes dedicated scientific research
• Some of the world’s most innovative and dynamic farmers, manufacturers and retailers
• A strong export industry, which last year saw £18billion made through trade with other countries
The scheme will build upon advances made in areas such as agricultural building design and construction, which has already seen higher yields through enhanced features such as ventilation, temperature control and construction from longer-lasting, more durable materials.
It’s hoped that this partnership between departments and organisations will lead to expansion, both in terms of the size of the industry, the produce and the quality of that produce.
With these developments and innovations already well underway, in a sector renowned for its dynamism and integrity, the scheme could see a massive growth in Agri-Tech, which is something we at Southcon Kingstone are incredibly excited about.
If you’re looking to maximise on this exciting potential for growth, and foresee the need for further agricultural and industrial steel buildings during expansion, then contact us today – well be more than happy to help design and construct further agricultural buildings to help meet your needs.