June 14, 2012

Cereals 2012: Power in Agriculture Report

Visitors to Cereals 2012 in Lincolnshire, UK, had the opportunity to pick up copies of a report which it's publishers, the Oxford Farming Conference, are calling "a vital report on the future of farming" .

Much has been made of feeding a world of nine billion people by 2050, given a background of changing climate and the need for sustainable production systems. This report, Power in Agriculture, seeks to show where that food is coming from and what resources will be needed to produce it, The report is timely - first published in January this year - due to the following factors: farm productivity must be improved over the next decade; the shift in global power eastward; increased globalisation in agriculture; opening of agriculture markets through trade liberalisation and de-regulation and the continuing reliance on the use of non-renewable natural resources and the depletion of mineral reserves.

The report presents a unique series of regional power indexes which reveals the UK farmer is still a major player with the agriculture sector "punching above his weight".

"But ...  for the farming industry in this country to grow it needs to respond to the challenges of an increasingly globalised agricultural system and greater pressures on our resources," says Cedric Porter, chairman of the 2012 Oxford Farming Conference in the report.

As might be expected the US and the EU top the power index by some margin. The report recognises that pressure on UK agriculture will come from countries such as Brazil and India. It also sees a shift in the focus of power from governments towards commercial businesses.

"The exercise of this power isn't limitless and can be constrained by policy," says the report. Copies of the report, which deals with trade flows, economics of livestock as well as cereal production and trade through to political power and natural resources, can be fund on: www.ofc.org.uk
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Agriculture (Photo credit: thegreenpages)

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