Agriculture and Food Security Strategy Advisory Panel
Recognising the need to respond to the global challenge of securing sustainable supplies of food for a growing population from the same or less land, and with fewer inputs of water, energy and nutrients, while minimising adverse environmental impacts BBSRC has identified food security ("bioscience for a sustainable supply of sufficient, affordable, nutritious and safe food") as one of three strategic research priorities in the Council's Strategic Plan for 2010-2015 and its associated Delivery Plan for 2011-2015.
This panel serves in an advisory capacity to BBSRC to assist in formulating its strategy for food security.
Professor Alison Smith OBE (Chair) - John Innes Centre
Professor Sir David Baulcombe FRS - University of Cambridge
Professor Tim Benton - University of Leeds
Dr Mike Bushell - Syngenta
Dr Malcolm Crabtree - Farm manager, retired
Professor Julie Fitzpatrick - Moredun Research Institute
Mr A Kyriakides - Sainsbury's Supermarkets Ltd
Professor Jules Pretty OBE - University of Essex
Professor Peter Smith FSB, FRSE - University of Aberdeen
Professor Jonathan Wastling - University of Liverpool
Professor Christine Williams - University of Reading
Periodically the Agriculture and Food Security Strategy Advisory Panel (AFS SAP) establishes time-limited working groups, with membership drawn from the panel and more widely, to advise in detail on particular topics. Outputs from these groups can be seen below.
Sustainable intensification of agriculture working group
Earlier this year, BBSRC's AFS SAP established a broadly-based, time-limited group to advise on the Council's role (potentially with others) in relation to the sustainable intensification (SI) of agriculture. The role of the working group was to consider how we could best contribute to supporting research or related activities (infrastructure, training and skills, translation of research into practice etc) relevant to SI.
The group presented its independent advice to us in a report (see downloads section). The group:
- proposed four thematic areas in which BBSRC could contribute to SI
- identified a number of cross-cutting issues relevant to more than one theme
- made a set of associated recommendations
Comments on the report were invited and gratefully received. Comments included:
- an emphasis on the importance of interdisciplinary working
- the need to balance production with other ecosystems services
- the broad nature of SI, and the associated need for research to target specific aspects
- the value of (and potential challenges associated with) co-designed research
- the important role of chemistry in SI research
- the need to consider possible effects of SI on animal welfare
Respondents also helpfully:
- suggested links to existing debates, activities, groups and relevant funders
- highlighted additional areas for consideration
- provided useful comments on a number of the recommended actions
BBSRC will use these comments to help inform our implementation of the working group's advice; we are currently working on a draft implementation plan and will continue to liaise with the Food Security Strategy Advisory Panel.
Wheat working group
In 2012, the Food Security SAP (now known as AFS SAP) established a broadly-based, time-limited working group to advise on the Council's future strategy and priorities for wheat research.
For the working group's remit and membership see the downloads section. This includes 9 key questions it was asked to consider. Comments were invited, and helpful feedback was received from the wider scientific and stakeholder communities to inform the working group's thinking.
The working group's independent advice to BBSRC is called the 5-year wheat strategy for BBSRC, (see downloads section). The strategy includes various recommendations. Comments on the working group's advice were invited and gratefully received.