East Anglia: Debate on sustainable intensification

A farm-level debate on the implications of “sustainable intensification” will be held in Cambridge on June 19.

The Norfolk-based Centre for Contemporary Agriculture is keen to promote a practical debate among farmers and land managers about issues including a projected world population of nine billion with dwindling reserves of key plant nutrients and increasing demands for higher animal welfare.

While the question: “What can be done about these issues?” was posed at the Norfolk Farming Conference in February, the all-day conference aims to tackle some of these concerns.

The panel of speakers at the NIAB TAG will also consider the impact of global warming on the ability to produce food, the scarcity of oil and the likely price pressure on artificial fertilisers and the drive for more environmental public goods and the effect on Britain’s farmers and growers.

The CCA partners would like to find out if sustainable intensification provides the answers and how much it might change the face of British farming in the future.

A whole day’s debate for farmers and industry experts to explore the concept fully. Then the findings will be presented at a follow-up event in the autumn.

The debate will be led by speakers including Ian Crute, chief scientific officer of the Agricultural and Horticultural Development Board; David Richardson, pro vice-chancellor at the University of East Anglia and Phil Bicknell, chief economist at the National Farmers’ Union.

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Two members of the NIAB TAG team, Patrick Stephenson, who is northern regional agronomist and Chris Winney, head of consultancy, will be speaking alongside Mark Avery, formerly of the RSPB.

It starts at 9.30am. Booking is essential and tickets cost �35, thanks to generous support by Landskills East.

Please contact Debbie Brown at dbrown@easton.ac.uk on 01603 731 583) to reserve a place.