Research is more crucial than ever to agriculture as the industry strives to farm sustainably in the face of climate change and increasing pressure on natural resources. Behind these new priorities is the challenge to make sure research is practical and relevant for farmers. It needs to tackle the real problems faced by farmers as they grapple with improving their productivity while protecting the environment and reducing external inputs.
The Duchy Future Farming programme provides a research fund where farmers and growers set the priorities to address key challenges within organic and low-input agriculture.The research proposals were subjected to rigorous review by a panel of expert farmers and scientists. In the first round of grants we received dozens of innovative ideas from producers and had more than 70 researchers come forward to help. The first four projects selected for funding received research grants worth a total of more than £60,000. In the second of research proposals £25,000 was awarded to another three projects.
To be eligible, proposals had to show they had been developed jointly with one or more farmers or growers. We encouraged participatory research but welcomed other approaches (e.g. reviews) where they are the best way to provide the knowledge needed.
In addition to the grants demonstrating research impact they also;
- Provide preliminary data for larger research proposals. Translate research into on-farm practical advantage.
- Disseminate research at on-farm events.
- Help farmers understand research requirements.
- Support professional development by reconciling the practical requirements of a working farm with delivering robust science.
The fund is part of the Duchy Future Farming Programme. If you have a query about the fund or the projects, please consult our FAQ's, or contact our research manager Kate Pressland on firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 0117 987 4572.