It has been announced that the UK government is investing £21.3 million in a new Centre for Crop Health and Protection (CHAP) under its Agri-Tech strategy. CHAP will lead the way in developing solutions to the challenges facing world agriculture, bringing together the best expertise, knowledge and insight from leading research organisations and industries in the sector.
Cranfield will join leading industry partners and academic institutions in a collaboration which will, for the first time, give farmers access to the best and most sustainable technologies, strategies and protocols to improve crop performance, making a real difference at the farm gate.
CHAP has secured investment over four years and will be headquartered at the National Agri-Food Innovation campus at Sand Hutton near York. CHAP will enable its partners, alongside retailers, processors, agronomists and manufacturers, to share resources, optimise return on research and development costs, reduce waste and accelerate the registration process for new products.
Professor Leon Terry, Director of Agrifood at Cranfield University, said: “Cranfield will be leading the soil health component within the new centre. With over £3 million in new capital equipment to complement existing facilities, Cranfield will create the leading soils research facility in Europe. This will complement our agricultural engineering capability as part of the new Agri-EPI centre announced last month.”
Interim CEO of CHAP Ltd, Dr Andrew Swift, said: “CHAP will establish the UK as a world-leader in agri-technology, innovation and sustainability. It will create an environment that encourages the exchange of leading-edge knowledge, resulting in greater innovation and wider access to the best available technologies and solutions. By taking science to the farm, CHAP will help farmers, growers and the food industry to improve yield, reduce costs and meet the need for sustainable solutions to present and future challenges.”
Notes for editors
CHAP’s consortium partners include Bayer CropScience, Farmcare, Frontier Agriculture, Dow AgroSciences, Tesco, Stockbridge Technology and Unilever, alongside AHDB, CABI, Cranfield University, FERA Science Ltd, Newcastle University, ADAS, The Met Office, University of Warwick, Campden BRI and Rothamsted Research.
About Cranfield University
Cranfield is a specialist postgraduate university that is a global leader for education and transformational research in technology and management.