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BCPC Forum on "Enhancing Eco-Efficiency in Agriculture: The agenda for the Future?" - IS0217

Following the holding of the first BCPC Forum, entitled “Biotech 2020”, in February 2003, the Executive of the British Crop Protection Council has decided to hold a second two-day Forum in May 2004 on the role that eco-efficient land use systems will play in the UK in the next two decades and the scientific innovations that can generate the greatest benefits for eco-efficient farming. These issues will shape the future direction of the UK’s R&D strategy for land use systems. Reforms of the Common Agricultural Policy are clearly looking to agricultural and land use systems within Europe that are both less dependent on public subsidies and more environmentally sustainable. However, impending enlargement of the European Union to include new member states in Eastern/Central Europe, coupled with the international pressure to liberalise trade, raises serious questions in the long-term about the ability of agriculture in countries like the UK, France and Germany to compete successfully. Undoubtedly, the nature of agricultural and land use systems will have to change, and change radically, if farming is to remain viable and meet the public expectation of being more environmentally and ecologically sound. The key questions are how will European farms in general, and UK farms specifically, respond and what implications will their responses have for the future shape of agricultural and land use systems? What is certain is that, if UK farming is not to move from one form of subsidy dependence connected with production to another based on delivery of public environmental goods, it will be necessary that land use systems and production methods are cost-efficient and sustainable. New farming and land use systems, crops and management practices may well need to be developed and an R&D strategy, which is capable of addressing these needs, has to be put in place. Accordingly, the Forum will aim to address the following questions::· How will the shape of UK farming and the wider use of land within rural areas change over the next 15-20 years?· How will these changes impact on the pattern of land use, on typical production systems and on the agricultural system as a whole?· What will be the technical requirements for ensuring that these novel agricultural and land use systems are economically viable?· What role will eco-efficient agriculture play in UK food and non-food production in the next 15-20 years?· What R&D developments and innovation strategies are required to meet these technical requirements and how feasible are they?· What implications do these trends/requirements have for both science and innovation strategy, as well as economic policy? With an invited audience of around 60, the aim of the Forum will be to debate these issues over two days. The results of the deliberations will be published in a follow-up report.

The SAC will be providing £5,000.00 and SEERAD will be providing £5360.00 in funding for the forum.
The objectives of the Forum are twofold, namely: 1. To provide a context, in which policy-makers , practioners and researchers, can come together to discuss the shape of UK farming and rural land use in 15-20 years’ time and identify the research needed to meet the requirements of the new land use systems; and2. To prepare a report on these deliberations, which can be used to inform the wider debate regarding the future R&D strategy for farming and land use systems.
Project Documents
• Final Report : BCPC Forum on "Enhancing Eco-Efficiency in Agriculture: The agenda for the Future?"   (402k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2003

To: 2004

Cost: £50,000
Contractor / Funded Organisations
British Crop Protection Council
Arable Farming              
Sustainable Production