Projects to grow strawberries without soil, develop organic pesticides and breed lamb for more taste have won funding from the government’s agri-tech strategy.

Defra has announced the names of 15 projects that will share £12.1m in government funding. Industry will invest another £5.7m.

See more: Government unveils £160m agri-tech strategy

The agri-tech catalyst awards were announced last year and seek to help accelerate agricultural innovation.

The subjects of the projects are:

  • Antimicrobial technology to control disease in potato production
  • Preservation and sequencing technology to address food security and production efficiency in the poultry sector
  • New strawberries optimised for growing without soil
  • Using light to extend the shelf-life of fresh produce
  • An automated system for precision application of fertiliser and plant growth compounds
  • Developing technology for an organic, natural-based pesticide
  • Improving efficiency and reducing environmental harm of fertiliser production
  • Wheat research and breeding project to improve food security in India and Pakistan
  • Improving the production of farmed salmon to reduce its environmental impact
  • Ground and aerial sensors to improve wheat production and breeding
  • Increasing the efficiency and quality of strawberries grown without soil
  • Protecting peas and beans from beetles without blanket insecticide spraying
  • Optimising “big data” to drive improvements in crop production and utilisation
  • Breeding lamb for more taste and less waste by scanning live animals