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Rapid revolution in productivity needed

AHDB’s latest Horizon report said improved productivity was essential to capitalise on Brexit, feed the UK population and protect the environment


Alex   Black

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Alex   Black
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Rapid revolution in productivity needed

The UK has fallen significantly behind major competitors in its growth in productivity, with countries such as the USA and the Netherlands growing three times faster.

This productivity gap was worth over £4.3bn in lost GDP between 2000 and 2013.

 

AHDB’s Driving productivity growth together report, launched at the Oxford Farming Conference, warned a revolution in productivity was necessary to capitalise on Brexit, continue to feed the country and protect the environment.

 

But he highlighted the UK had been held back from greater productivity by a fragmented research and development and underinvestment in people and skills.

AHDB's 5 point action plan

  • A nationally coordinated strategy for research and innovation favouring near-market programmes which will unleash productivity gains
  • A new ‘What Works’ centre for agriculture and horticulture acting as a beacon for evidence-based change on farm
  • A mandate for AHDB to co-ordinate Knowledge Exchange programmes ensuring consistent, joined-up and sustained delivery of best practice across sectors
  • A new national skills framework for farmers and growers, with career-long professional development
  • A boost for farmer-to- farmer learning and stretch targets for the uptake of benchmarking and farm management skills

AHDB Chief Strategy Office Tom Hind, called on industry stakeholders to join forces to drive ‘real change’.

 

Critical

 

He said productivity was of critical importance for the industries overall competitiveness on global markets.

 

“This matters both because we want our industry to seize market opportunities at home and abroad and we want the industry to become less dependent on direct support as we move away from the Common Agricultural Policy.

 

“Secondly, productivity is also a key driver in overcoming the environmental challenges we face. Productivity and environmental responsibility go hand in hand.

 

He added he hoped the report would be the start of an urgent national debate on productivity.

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