Plant breeders call for doubling of UK funding

Plant breeders are calling for a doubling of public funding into their industry to help deliver a step-change increase in crop yields.

While Britain is recognised for its excellence in plant science, there is unmet potential to unlock the impact of current research, says a report by the UK Plant Sciences Federation (UKPSF).

The report, UK Plant Science; Current status and future challenges, adds that a rise in crop yields together with climate resilience and disease resistance is needed to meet future food security and sustainable development goals.

It calls for the doubling of public investment in plant science with more emphasis on translating research into commercial application through public-private partnerships.

Richard Summers, chairman of the British Society of Plant Breeders (BSPB), welcomed the move which he says is a policy blueprint to unlock the potential of the UK plant science sector.

“This report recognises the critical role of the commercial plant breeding and seeds sector as the route to market for much of the plant science research taking place in UK research institutes and universities,” he adds.

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