CHAP - First Agri-Tech Strategy funded project is launched

by Tim Mudge

NEW CENTRE FOR CROP HEALTH AND PROTECTION ESTABLISHED IN UK

The launch has been announced of a new Centre for Crop Health and Protection (CHAP) under the government’s Agri-Tech strategy, which was launched in 2013 to ensure that its investment in agriculture delivers material benefits for society and the economy in the UK and overseas. CHAP will lead the way in developing solutions to the challenges facing world agriculture, bringing together the best expertise, knowledge and insight from leading research organisations and industries in the sector. This collaboration between academia and industry will, for the first time, give farmers access to the best and most sustainable technologies, strategies and protocols to improve crop performance, making a real difference at the farm gate.


CHAP has secured £21.3 million of government investment over four years and will be headquartered at the National Agri-Food Innovation campus at Sand Hutton near York. CHAP’s consortium partners include Bayer CropScience, Farmcare, Frontier Agriculture, Dow AgroSciences, Tesco, Stockbridge Technology and Unilever, alongside AHDB, CABI, Cranfield University, Fera Science Ltd, Newcastle University, ADAS, The Met Office, Warwick University, Campden BRI and Rothamsted Research. CHAP will enable these organisations, alongside retailers, processors, agronomists and manufacturers, to share resources, optimise return on research and development costs, reduce waste and accelerate the registration process for new products.


Interim CEO of CHAP Ltd, Dr Andrew Swift, said, “CHAP will establish the UK as a world-leader in agri-technology, innovation and sustainability. It will create an environment that encourages the exchange of leading edge knowledge, resulting in greater innovation and wider access to the best available technologies and solutions. By taking science to the farm, CHAP will help farmers, growers and the food industry to improve yield, reduce costs and meet the need for sustainable solutions to present and future challenges.”