Half-million pound award ensures new Fenlands agri-food centre

A new research centre in Cambridgeshire will aim to drive improvements in the fresh produce supply chain.

Dr Barsby with Agri Gate Research Hub project leader David Neill - image:NIAB
Dr Barsby with Agri Gate Research Hub project leader David Neill - image:NIAB

The Agri Gate Research Hub will bring back into use an existing building in Soham which will serve as a resource for farmers, growers, food businesses, schools, colleges and other users to research improvements in production efficiency through the food chain.

Led by NIAB (the National Institute of Agricultural Botany), the project has just been given £0.5million and is due to receive £1.76m of investment over the next three years from the Government's Regional Growth Fund via a local enterprise partnership (LEP).

NIAB chief executive Dr Tina Barsby said: "The research work that will be undertaken at the Research Hub will range from seedbed preparation, varietal selection, and plant spacing, right through to harvesting, processing, packaging and processes.

"It will create opportunities for technology transfer by housing pilot and field scale research projects that are vital to the future of our industry."

Preparatory work at the site, owned by fresh produce supplier G's Group, is due to start in July and be completed before the end of the year.

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