UK government awards £16m to innovative agricultural tech projects
Some 24 agricultural tech projects have received a share of £16m in funding from a £70m government funding scheme.
The Government’s Agri-Tech Catalyst, as the fund is known, seeks to solve some of the world’s agricultural challenges ranging from food security and sustainability to weed control and livestock disease.
George Freeman, life sciences minister, said: “Agri-tech is fast becoming big global business, creating major investment and export opportunities for the UK.”
He added: “Whether extending the availability of UK apples to controlling the infection of cacao plants in Ghana, these innovative projects demonstrate the UK’s leadership in developing technologies and companies that will improve food and farming productivity in this country and around the world.”
According to a statement, this round of funding – alongside industry co-investment – has provided awards between £200,000 and £1.5m to the most pioneering science and technology projects within the UK’s agricultural sector.
Five of the 24 projects will set out to overcome challenges in developing countries, including improving methods to detect carcinogenic mould toxins in food crops.
Farming Minister George Eustice said: “Although there has been great pressure on farm incomes over the past 12 months, I believe the industry has a good future and technological advances will help. Farmers have an essential role in building a strong economy and feeding the nation.
“Taking innovations from the laboratory to the farm is key to boosting productivity, and tackling pests and diseases. That is why the government supports projects through our Agri-Tech Strategy, like those who have won today,” he concluded.