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World Food Day

Co-operation between farms, business and industry sectors needed to combact future fresh water threat.

The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations celebrates World Food Day tomorrow, Tuesday 16 October. The theme for the day is ‘Agricultural cooperatives – key to feeding the world’.

The University of Reading is leading the way with its research in food security, agriculture and climate change.

Dr Alison Bailey, from the University of Reading’s renowned School of Agriculture, Policy and Development and Walker Institute Associate, said: “Farmers in England are rising to the challenge of increasing yields whilst reducing inputs and environmental impact. Future fresh water availability is crucial in enabling them to meet this important challenge. However climate change presents a serious risk of diminished availability of water for UK agriculture and horticulture, providing a major challenge to farmers, researchers, plant breeders and policy makers. Those operating farm and horticultural businesses need to take on board the impending changes. The magnitude, frequency and timing of droughts and flooding may change so the implications and the need to develop options for adaption to these changes must be recognised now.

“It is important to recognise that a combination of different options, rather than one single approach, will be necessary to address climate change impacts. This requires a change in approach to adapting at the farm level which must be driven by policy and related guidance. Farms need to pool their resources and it will require co-operation between business and across industry sectors. Research into water availability and its use on farms should be given high priority.”

 

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