Skip to main content

Agriculture: Research

Volume 483: debated on Tuesday 18 November 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much funding from the public purse has been allocated for research into new farming systems in each of the last five years, broken down by main category of expenditure. (234154)

DEFRA has invested in research activities in several programmes since 2003-04 that contribute to development of sustainable farming systems. Industry have joint funded some of the work within LINK programmes, a mechanism co-funding collaborative research between industry and the public sector.

Total spend in each programme for each of the last five years is shown in the following table:

£

Programme

Financial year

Integrated farming systems1

Integrated systems2

LINK (including organic LINK)3

Organic farming4

Grand total

2003-04

941,848

1,374,876

1,890,119

4,206,843

2004-05

1,318,345

2,064,689

1,538,977

4,922,011

2005-06

930,055

2,176,249

1,422,150

4,528,454

2006-07

946,594

780,377

2,762,759

844,103

5,333,833

2007-08

2,476,806

467,014

2,749,883

878,875

6,572,578

2008-09

2,894,125

363,581

2,736,520

851,927

6,846,153

Grand total

6,317,525

4,801,220

13,864,976

7,426,151

32,409,872

1 Integrated Farming Systems

This programme was formed in 2006 to fund system-based approaches to farm production and land management; contribution of integrated farming techniques to policy outcomes or resource use efficiency; reduction of negative environmental footprint of agriculture; sustaining and enhancing environment, biodiversity and soils associated with farmland. It incorporates new work related to the former Integrated Systems programme.

2 Integrated Systems

This programme funded work that cut across the former commodity programmes (arable, livestock and horticulture) and the Agricultural Environmental Protection programme to cover joint interests. The programme was closed to new work in 2005-06 but projects commissioned before that time are ongoing.

3 LINK

LINK is a mechanism for co-funding collaborative research between industry and the public sector. The LINK programmes are: Food LINK, Horticulture LINK, Renewable Materials LINK, Sustainable Arable LINK, and Sustainable Livestock Production LINK. Much of the systems based research funded through LINK is in the Sustainable Arable LINK programme which is included in the table.

4 Organic Farming

This includes projects on organic systems in the Organic Farming Production and Economics programme which became a sub-programme of the new Sustainable Farming Systems programme in 2005-06.

Note:

These figures are taken from the DEFRA Science Information System database.