MEP's report "will push agri-tech up policy agenda"

New Defra secretary Michael Gove joined Anthea McIntyre MEP for the launch of her far-reaching policy report on how emerging technology can advance farming last week.

Image: office of Anthea McIntyre MEP
Image: office of Anthea McIntyre MEP

McIntyre, Conservative MEP for the West Midlands and a member of the European Parliament's Agriculture and Rural Development Committee, published the report following extensive consultation with range of experts from science, academia, horticulture, arable and livestock farming, land management, ecology and politics.

The report, Technological Solutions for Sustainable Agriculture, builds on her parliamentary report adopted by MEPs last year, and sets out a range of recommendations for putting technology the heart of agriculture in the EU to boost productivity and protect the environment.

Key evidence was gathered at a round-table conference last month and in reports from John Chinn, chairman of the UK's Centre for Applied Crop Science, and the vice chancellor of Harper Adams University David Llewellyn.

Launching thereport at the Royal Three Counties Show in Malvern, Worcestershire last week, McIntyre said: "Nothing is more important to agriculture's future than the serious but sensitive application of new technology, chemical and genetic innovation and the harnessing of emerging digital, biological and physical science.

"Our widespread consultation highlighted many key opportunities, including increased used of robots and drones, driverless tractors, more-accurate application of pesticides and better rural broadband. I believe our recommendations can play a major part in pushing the advance and harnessing of technology to the front of the agriculture and policy agendas."

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