Building on a solid foundation: Improving knowledge exchange in arable farming
Landbridge co-hosted a workshop on the 23rd September 2014 in Peterborough which examined knowledge exchange in the arable sector and how this could be built upon and improved. The event was co-hosted by the Agricultural Industries Confederation, the Home Grown Cereals Authority and the Association of Independent Crop Consultants and featured contributions from leading industry representatives and researchers. This interactive workshop involved delegates mapping the knowledge exchange landscape in the arable sector, identifying the strengths and weaknesses of the current system and developing priorities for how knowledge exchange mechanisms and strategies could be improved in the future. The programme for the event is available here and the landbridge blog features a reflection on the day from panellist Jeremy Phillipson.
The names of the 15 Agri-Tech Catalyst Award winning projects have been announced. In this first round of the competition, the winning projects will receive a share of £18 million of funding from government and industry to help accelerate agricultural innovation and their commercial viability. This includes £12.1 million funding from government (from the Technology Strategy Board/Department of Business, Innovation and Skills, the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and the Department for International Development) with £5.7 million co-investment from industry. The winning projects are all led by UK companies and span 3 key areas of the agriculture sector – crops, livestock and aquaculture. Full details of the winning projects can be found here.
Defra awards 19 million pounds to help rural businesses
Environment Secretary Owen Paterson has announced that more than 2,500 rural businesses are set to receive a share of 19 million pounds of government funding. This funding has been specifically designed to boost the competitiveness of rural farming and forestry businesses and it is believed that this extra funding will support around 5000 jobs across England. The funding is from the targeted Farming and Forestry Improvement Scheme (FFIS), part of the CAP-funded Rural Development Programme for England.
Could putting a value on coastal assets help to defuse conflict?
Coastal management can be a highly contested topic - a scheme to control erosion in one place may result in loss of beach frontage further down the coast. People value natural assets in different ways - one group of stakeholders may want to see changes that will benefit livelihoods but change the natural habitat and threaten species that other stakeholders hold dear. The latest Policy and Practice Note from LWEC, drawing on evidence from the Valuing Nature Network and UK National Ecosystem Assessment, tackles this issue head on, looking at how coastal assets may be valued and proposing a 'balance sheet' approach that could help.