New agricultural research collaboration launched

A NEW Centre for Agriculture, Food and Environmental Management has bene launched to drive research into animal and plant production in the context of the global food security challenge.

The research initiative represents a collaboration between the University of Hertfordshire, the Royal Veterinary College, and Rothamsted Research.

Professor Quintin McKellar, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Hertfordshire, delivered his annual lecture on the sugbject of the increasing need for food to feed the world’s expanding population.

His lecture, ‘Give us this day our daily bread’, explained the need for action to avoid food crisis and described how the University, together with its partners, planned to tackle the challenge of a cost effective and robust food system to ensure UK food security.

The new centre will combine the resources of the three institutions to undertake research in food production, food supply, environmental management and sustainability. 

Professor McKellar said: “I am delighted to announce that the University of Hertfordshire is partnering with two of the world’s leading agricultural institutions to establish the new research centre.

He said: “This new partnership will draw on the combined expertise to lead research into some of the most pressing issues affecting every aspect of food production in the UK – from the farm to our table.  We will undertake research into aspects of animal and plant production which will contribute to national food security, as well as educating the next generation of agriculture and food chain specialists.”

Professor Stephen May, deputy principal at the RVC, said: “World demand is increasing, and at the same time UK consumers rightly demand quality-assured, welfare-friendly products. The veterinary profession will play an essential part in progress in this field, and, as the largest UK veterinary school, the RVC looks forward to making its own substantial contribution to this Centre.”

Professor Maurice Moloney, director and chief executive of Rothamsted Research said: “We are delighted to play a part in this excellent initiative within Hertfordshire.

“The vision of the Vice-Chancellor in the face of major challenges in food security worldwide is both timely and opportune. This coincides with a substantial investment from BBSRC to develop Rothamsted’s Harpenden campus. With our world-leading crop and soil science research and these new facilities, we will make a substantial contribution towards fulfilling Professor McKellar’s vision for the University and for the County of Hertfordshire.”

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