Environment secretary digs in to our plant research at Royal Norfolk Show

  • Date

    Fri 7 Jul 17

Environment Secretary Michael Gove meets Professor Philip Mullineaux

Our stand at the Royal Norfolk Show attracted many visitors keen to find out how Essex research could help feed the world’s growing population - including Environment Secretary Michael Gove MP.

Our School of Biological Sciences has one of the UK’s leading plant productivity research groups so we were keen to share our insights into how to improve crop yields. Researchers at Essex are increasing our understanding of the secrets of photosynthesis and plant responses to the environment.

The scale of the global challenge

Our stand was part of Agri-Tech East’s Innovation Hub and our experts used an interactive thermograph to explain to visitors the potential of improving yields by finding ways to extend the length of the growing season.

Improving yields is seen as vitally important as it is predicted that by 2030 if food production doesn’t change in the UK we will need the equivalent of 7 million more hectares to grow the food we need.

The Innovation Hub

The Innovation Hub was a partnership between Agri-Tech East and the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association. Other organisations taking part included Agrimetrics, the Wensum Project, SOYL, Smartbell, NIAB and CropAngel.

The Hub was sponsored by the BBRO (the British Beet Research Organisation) and designed to show how research and emerging technologies will help farmers to feed our growing population sustainably.

“The agri-food industry in the UK is underpinned by world class science but the connection is often not clear. With the Innovation Hub we are looking to show key areas where progress is being made within the areas defined by farmers as priorities and gain feedback on future direction.”
Mark Nicholas Royal Norfolk Agricultural Assocation