Region flies flag for pioneering work in agriculture

Belinda Clarke holds a workshop at the Innovation for Agriculture East Conference at Trinity Park. P

Belinda Clarke holds a workshop at the Innovation for Agriculture East Conference at Trinity Park. Photograph Simon Parker - Credit: Archant

A week flying the flag for agricultural technology in East Anglia came to a close yesterday with the hope that it will “put the region on the map” nationally and internationally for its work in pioneering agricultural advances.

Agri-Tech week, which opened and closed in Suffolk with a conference at Suffolk Agricultural Association’s Trinity Park in Ipswich on Tuesday and the launch of an HGCA Monitor Farm at Westhorpe, near Stowmarket yesterday, was aimed at bringing the work to the attention of farmers and the industry as a whole. Other events took place in Cambridgeshire and Norfolk.

Dr Belinda Clarke, director of Agri-Tech East, an organisation which is hoping to drive the advances, was at the event in Ipswich to talk about technology transfer, and the need to turn research and innovation into an on-farm reality, in a farmers’ workshop.

“The purpose of this week is to really put the East of England on the national and international map as a reason to come to the East of England to interact with our research base, our growers, our producers, to do business and to interface with the research,” she said.

“Each of the locations where we have an Agri-Tech Week event has something different to offer.

The idea of making it into a week was to attract investors and businesses which might not come to a single event, she explained.

In terms of how new technologies were being adopted, she and her colleagues were looking at how these advances were being fed through to farmers - and whether it was through academics, agronomists, machinery salesmen or other means. The work was being fed into a white paper.

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A second workshop looked at the challenges agriculture faced in relation to water, and securing enough of it to ensure healthy crops.