An independent review panel is calling for a national strategy for crop science research in order to help UK agriculture benefit from breakthroughs in the laboratory. In a review commissioned by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), the UK’s largest funder of plant science the panel proposes a stronger national focus on research underpinning “public good” plant breeding.
The report highlights a number of new challenges faced by UK agriculture caused by climate change, international competition (particularly in an expanded European Union), the threat of new pests and diseases and changing food demands from the public. In addition, the report outlines the ongoing demands to reduce inputs to farming systems, understand the links between diet and health and develop novel non-food crops for biofuels and biopharmaceuticals. The UK’s position as a world leader in many areas of plant and crop science places the country in a strong position to deal with these challenges effectively.
Source: bbsrc reports vom 2004-05-12.