At this morning’s Westminster seminar NFU chief science and regulatory affairs adviser Dr Helen Ferrier spoke about why farming is a strong sector worth investing in.
Statistics are vital – I'm not just saying that because I worked with numbers in my scientific research.
If industry leaders are going to make the case for innovation and sustainable intensification to farmers, it’s essential that productive potential and profitability are part of the picture. Grounding discussions in the commercial context and understanding the bigger picture using facts and figures is so important. We must take these statistics into account if we are to understand how farm businesses are performing and whether measures to address key challenges are actually working.
At this morning’s ‘Westminster Food and Nutrition Forum’ seminar on science and policy in food and agriculture, I quizzed a well-informed audience of thought leaders and opinion formers on the stats behind the capabilities and challenges in UK agriculture.
What do the stats on the quiz tell us?
• Agri-food is a strong sector that is worth investing in, both in research and good regulation.
• There must be more efforts made to reduce the trade deficit and promote competitiveness.
• Resilience to changing and volatile conditions - that’s economic, climatic and regulatory - requires investment from government and industry at national and local levels
On the last point, we know that agricultural technology is the answer to increasing farming’s resilience to volatile weather and many other production challenges. Technology is an integral part of modern farming as it is in modern life. And it has its own opportunities, challenges and barriers.
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- NFU sets sights on fair prices, despite dash to discount - Oliver Rubinstein, assistant food chain adviser
- BPS blog: The intermittent geyser - NFU Vice President Guy Smith
- Should UK farmers be worried by EU-Ukraine agreement? - Olly Harrison, NFU national crops board member
- Flooding - doing nothing is not an option - North East Environment Forum member Richard Bramley
- BPS: How we're working to get the money moving - senior BPS adviser Richard Wordsworth
- David Hall, NFU Regional Director in the North West - Blog: Fighting for farmers in the eye of the storm