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Science and technology should be centre stage

Could benefit from more R&D: Upland farming

THE DEPLOYMENT and development of science and technology needs to be prioritised if upland farmers are to compete and increase production of safe, high quality food to the highest environmental standards.

That was the message from the NFU Cymru LFA Board, who met recently.

With approximately 80% of agricultural land in Wales currently designated as Less Favoured Area (LFA), NFU Cymru’s LFA Board insists that the need for upland farmers to be equipped with the right tools in order to meet growing demand for food whilst protecting the environment and meeting the challenge of climate change has never been greater.

NFU Cymru LFA Board Chair John Owen said :

“Historically Wales and the UK have made a significant contribution when it comes to agricultural research and development. In Wales, we need a competitive and sustainable agricultural industry that is able to increase productivity whilst improving resource efficiency so that it achieves more from less.

“Investment in agri-science with a focus on applied research that is relevant to the industry’s needs, together with support for farmers to deploy the latest technologies and innovation, should be centre stage. NFU Cymru wants prospective parliamentary candidates in this year’s General Election to make agricultural science and technology a priority to aid those farming in LFA and the wider industry.”

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Concluding, Mr Owen said: “The farming sector is likely to be the industry most affected by exiting the European Union. The upcoming General Election is, therefore, the most important in a generation in farming terms. It is vital that the next UK Government recognises the importance of farming to Wales and ensures that the industry is afforded the opportunity to prosper. The development and deployment of science and technology will be central to our vision of a productive, profitable and progressive farming industry in Wales moving forward.”