Data-driven agriculture and food production

Dr Louise Sutherland

by Dr Louise Sutherland

Director of Ceres Agri-tech partnership, Dr Louise Sutherland, recently participated in a Food Matters podcast on the hot topic of data-driven agriculture and food production. 

Dr Sutherland was one of a panel of industry experts that included Callum Murray, Head of Food and Agriculture at Innovate UK; Dave Ross, Chief Executive Office, Agri-Epi Centre; and Emily Norton, Head of Rural Research at Savills. They discussed both the challenges and opportunities that data-driven agriculture presents.  

In the podcast, Dr Sutherland outlines who will benefit and how agri-tech needs to be based on robust science, solve a problem for the end-user and be commercially viable; all the principles the Ceres Agri-tech Partnership applies when selecting projects for its agri-tech pipeline. The group discusses the challenges of data security and how collaboration across the industry will be needed to find a workable solution. Dr Sutherland also shares her view that robots for harvesting, weeding and crop care will be the most exciting new development based on data driven agri-tech in the next 5-10 years; and that it will help to solve the labour crisis and labour productivity in UK Horticulture, which needs 70,000 to 80,000 seasonal workers each year. 

Listen to the podcast here: 


Photo by Jan Kopřiva on Unsplash

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