On a visit to the Royal Norfolk Show, Environment Secretary Michael Gove met with researchers and businesses at the ‘Innovation Hub’ sponsored by BBRO to find out more about the latest research and emerging agricultural technologies.
From a ‘FitBit for cows’ that provides real time information on the health of a herd, to a demonstration of how ‘agrimetrics’ data can support farmers and boost food production, pioneering agricultural technology (agri-tech) on display at the show could provide new opportunities for East Anglia’s farmers.
Environment Secretary Michael Gove said: “Emerging technologies will play a vital role in boosting productivity and growth, unlocking the full potential of our farming industry as we adapt to a rapidly changing world and maintain our leading role on the global stage.
“The East of England is a real hotbed of agricultural innovation and the enthusiasm and passion of the region’s farmers, who exported a record £1.6bn of food and drink last year, is truly inspirational.”
Agri-tech contributes £14.4bn to the UK economy every year, underpinning the UK’s food and drink industry, our largest manufacturing sector.
The government has already invested £160 million through the agri-tech strategy to help develop innovative solutions from the laboratory through to the farm.
Dr Belinda Clarke (pictured here with Colin MacEwan of BBRO), Director of Agri-Tech East, an independent membership organisation supporting the development of the agri-tech cluster, said: “Innovation is most effective when it is focussed on solving clearly defined problems. By bringing progressive farmers, who are willing to pilot new approaches, together with those who have potential solutions, Agri-Tech East is facilitating a step-change in agri-food production that is productive, profitable and sustainable.
“The Innovation Hub is a good showcase for the agri-tech cluster, showing how collaboration can accelerate innovation based on sound science.”