UK Funding Program to Help Farmers Become More Sustainable
New technologies will help UK farmers cut down on pollution, minimize waste and produce more food thanks to a GBP22m government investment.
The country’s Minister of State for Universities, Science and Research and Innovation Chris Skidmore recently announced the first 31 projects to benefit from the government’s dedicated Transforming Food Production Challenge, which is part of the Industrial Strategy fund that was developed to help businesses, researchers and industry to transform farming and meet the needs of the growing population.
The capital infusion will also contribute towards providing greener, cleaner processes for the agricultural sector, helping towards the government’s commitment to a target of net zero greenhouse emissions by 2025.
The list of projects which will benefit from government funding includes the following:
- Tuberscan, in Lincolnshire, who will use GBP391,000 to develop ground penetrating radar, underground scans and AI to monitor potato crops and identify when they are ready to harvest. This technology could increase the usable crop by an estimated 5%-10% and reduce food waste with minimal extra cost.
- Rootwave, in Warwickshire who will use a GBP690,000 grant to use electricity instead of chemicals to kill weeds via the roots avoiding damage to crops.
- aiScope, a project based in Sheffield, who will use a GBP1m grant to apply AI and analysis to tackle the common cereal weed, Blackgrass, potentially saving farmers GBP580m a year.
“The UK is a global leader in technological innovation, as well as being the first major economy to introduce plans for a legally binding target to reach net zero emissions and end the UK’s contribution to global warming entirely by 2050. The project just announced will ensure we lead the way in supporting our vital farming industry, delivering high-quality food for the consumer while reducing the wider environmental impact,” said Science Minister Chris Skidmore.
According to Farming Minister Robert Goodwill the funding will enable more investments in new technology, helping lead to scientific breakthroughs that could transform the sustainability of global food supply chains.