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Science Helps Us to Produce Affordable and Abundant Food

Caroline Lucas Farming with nature helps wildlife, and humans too, Journal, 18 July accuses agrochemical companies of “seeking to undermine the transition to environmentally friendly farming.” This statement could not be further from the truth. We are on the brink of the next agricultural revolution; advances in science and agricultural technology are helping to ensure a provider of abundant and affordable food while reducing the impact on the environment. Our member companies play a critical role in supporting farmers on this journey by giving biological data, seed-breeding, robotics, and pest administration solutions that go beyond chemicals.

To help combat climate change, we aim to be as productive as possible on the land we have. By using crop protection products, farmers can maximize the richness of existing farmland, occurring in more land for nature. An organic and low-yield farming system would require more land to be introduced into production for yield levels to be maintained, having significant impacts on the environment. Indeed, researchers from Cambridge University recently found that high-yielding farming delivered better outcomes for biodiversity, compared with low-yielding systems.

The RSA Food Farming and Countryside Commission report warns that climate change will continue to cause diet-related ill-health, yet scaremongering about pesticides is only likely to exacerbate the problem, discouraging consumers from making healthy choices by making them fearful of conventionally produced fresh fruit and vegetables without reason.

Private gardens, allotments, school gardens, playing fields, and community rising spaces amount to over half a million hectares of land in this country. This gives enormous opportunities for ordinary folks to contribute to these recommendations and help save our nation’s wildlife. Not using pesticides, encouraging biodiversity, and feeding the soil life are all tenets of organic growing. This is not merely the responsibility of the farming community. We can, and should, all make a difference.

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