Introduction to the Research Strategy at Rothamsted
Rothamsted Research has a vision to provide the scientific knowledge,innovation and new practices to increase crop productivity and quality, whilst developing environmentally sustainable solutions for agriculture through world-leading research in plant and soil science.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) forecasts that global food production will need to increase by over 40% by 2030, and 70% by 2050 (1). In addition, global demand for energy and water could double by 2050 (2).
Even now in the second decade of the 21st century nearly one billion people are undernourished and food prices are at an all-time high, with price volatility leading to socioeconomic impacts, such as civil unrest.
The purpose of the Strategy is to ensure Rothamsted Research is performing cutting edge scientific research on the critical factors responsible for plant productivity, crop quality and agricultural sustainability and engage with the public to translate results into robust technologies that can be used by policymakers, agribusinesses, food manufacturers energy companies and farmers to improve crop yields and enhance nutrition, contribute to energy security, reduce the carbon footprint of farming and protect and nurture the agricultural environment.
No single approach can deliver sustainable agriculture with high productivity and value. A broad perspective that encompasses the whole plant system is needed and a careful balance of approaches is required. This should include biotechnology, but also include areas of science such as agronomy and agro-ecology so we can understand how existing and new knowledge can be implemented through agricultural practice.
This Strategy will therefore be delivered through four outcome-focused progammes, which are consistent with the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) strategy, The Age of Bioscience, and draw on the best expertise at Rothamsted Research.
We believe this comprehensive strategy utilises the strengths of Rothamsted Research and not only embraces systems biology and biotechnology, but also draws on our deep knowledge of agronomy, soil science and agro-ecology. At the heart of this Strategy is a customer focus with a need to provide the knowledge and innovation to policymakers, manufacturers and most importantly the farming community who are integral to delivering sustainable food security. This strategy therefore combines our long-standing tradition, with vision.
1. OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook 2009-2018. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), 2009.
2. Foresight. The Future of Food and Farming: Final Project Report. Government Office for Science, 2011.
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Operates two national networks for monitoring insect populations in the UK. More...
Provides the research community access to a range of in situ state-of-the-art instrumentation in hydrologically isolated fields and farms to better address key issues in sustainable agriculture. More...
A database of interactions between pathogens and their hosts maintained at Rothamsted Research with international input. More...
These have been running since the mid 19th Century, provide a unique experimental system and archive of soil and plant samples. More...
Rothamsted Research receives
strategic funding from the BBSRC
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