Plant science critical to the health of the nation

22nd Mar 2012

All sectors of the crop production chain must stand up for the benefits of plant science - for too long the industry has been on the defensive and shied away from engaging with the wider public on how plant science improves all our lives.

That was the central message delivered by Dominic Dyer, chief executive of the UK Crop Protection Association, at a leading gathering of the European Crop Protection Industry in Berlin earlier this week.

Announcing a new Mission Statement for the Crop Protection Association, focusing on the importance of plant science in safeguarding our food supply and quality of life, Mr Dyer called on all involved in the crop production chain to champion the economic and societal benefits of a vibrant and dynamic plant science sector.

He said continued innovation in plant science would be essential to address the urgent challenges of food security and climate change, but warned that restrictive EU legislation on modern crop production technologies was stifling investment and research, placing Europe's farmers and food producers at a competitive disadvantage.

"In a world of rapid population increase and ever-growing demands on our land, water and energy resources, we must do more to communicate the values of our industry to policy-makers and the wider public.

"Advances in plant science offer exciting opportunities to improve the yield, quality and climate resilience of our major food crops. Such innovation is urgently needed to address the global challenge of producing more food with less impact on the environment.

"But no single approach, whether chemical, biological or cultural, can deliver progress in isolation. Integrated solutions to efficient crop production are needed, combining the best genetics, crop protection, nutrition and agronomy, and backed by science-based regulation and a functioning R&D pipeline," he concluded.



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