The report, stimulated by discussions with the Government‘s Chief Scientific Adviser and others, is entitled “Agricultural Engineering – a key discipline enabling agriculture to deliver global food security.”
There are formidable challenges, which will increase markedly over the next 40 years, if we are to improve global food security under the pressure of increasing world population, little or no new farm land, and the need to conserve natural resources and minimise environmental pollution.  Sustainable intensification of agriculture is needed and the report emphasizes the important role agricultural engineering will play in delivering this goal.  It highlights the opportunities that engineering, allied with other disciplines, is already offering as part of a vision for future global food security.

The report advocates:

  1. a new approach to encourage  strategic engagement of public and private sector stakeholders for agriculture and the food chain with the UK engineering sector, from education and research through to business and practical application
  2. the development of education and training in agricultural engineering
  3. the establishment of an active research programme in engineering for agriculture
  4. a partnership approach to translating research and innovation into practice 

The report also illustrates the importance of agricultural and biosystems engineering in contributing to advances in technologies, processes and knowledge that can help make farming methods and practices more sustainable, while having less impact on the environment.  

“Advances in agricultural engineering have delivered some of the most significant developments we’ve seen in modern farming.  These aren’t technologies of tomorrow, they are already being used by many farming businesses today, however, we’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg in terms of what this area of R&D can deliver for our industry in the future,” said Peter Kendall, President of the NFU.

“Deploying new and existing technologies, processes and knowledge that help make farming methods and practices more sustainable, while having less impact on the environment will be important.  I welcome this report in highlighting the importance of agricultural and Biosystems engineering in contributing to these advances,” said Government Chief Scientist, Sir John Beddington.

The report can be downloaded at:
http://www.iagre.org/sites/iagre.org/files/repository/IAgrEGlobal_Food_Security_WEB.pdf