Plants and crops underpin the health, wellbeing and food security of our growing population. We depend on them through direct consumption or indirectly via livestock consumption.
Plants and crops play a key role through ecosystem services that improve our quality of life. The economic, social and environmental value of crops, forests and horticulture is estimated to around £9bn per year.
The UK is home of some of the highest crop yields in the world, where 1 ha of land in the UK is equivalent to 2 ha elsewhere in the world. That’s down to the UK’s favourable climate, knowledgeable farmers and agronomists, its world leading universities and R&D organisations, and companies. New and old challenges make innovation in the sector an increasingly important matter. The agriculture land is under pressure due to urbanisation for a growing population, the ban of pesticides by the EU in recent years has been putting entire crops at risk of failure, a pressure to decrease the use of chemical fertilisers that are the leading cause of pollution in the production of plants and crops, unpredictable and extreme weather events due to climate change, combined with a decrease of seasonal workers in agriculture due to Brexit and more recently COVID-19. This means increasing land productivity in a sustainable manner is key for the future of agriculture in the UK.
We’ve got expertise across the plant and crop industry and research. The plants and crops team has key connections with many stakeholders within industry, academia, government and others to enable consortia building and provide clear direction to those looking to innovate in this area of AgriFood. Our experience includes but isn’t limited to crop breeding, integrated pest management, precision and smart agriculture, vertical farming, biostimulants, biopesticides, helping to improve crop productivity and sustainability.
Growing Kent and Medway: prototyping and demonstrator fund
Opens: 20/11/2023 Closes: 24/01/2024
UK registered businesses can apply for a share of up to £750k for innovative technologies in the horticultural food and drink supply chain.
Farming Innovation Programme: Research Starter round 4 - EoI
Opens: 18/12/2023 Closes: 14/02/2024
Farming, growing or forestry businesses in England can apply for a share of up to £850,000 for feasibility projects for net zero agriculture.
SBRI: Plant health innovations for biosecurity
Opens: 06/11/2023 Closes: 20/12/2023
This competition aims to accelerate innovative solutions, technologies or practices that enhance plant health and biosecurity.
Related Events and Recordings
AgriFood funding opportunities as part of Horizon Europe – May 2023
Our experts have listed the Horizon Europe funding opportunities that are most relevant to the AgriFood sector.
Opportunities for innovation to reduce damage caused by quelea birds in Africa
In April 2023, we brought together stakeholders from the UK and Africa to explore innovation to reduce crop loss due to quelea birds in Africa.