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Agricultural Production Systems

Agricultural Production Systems

We harness natural sciences, data analytics and socio-economic sciences for agriculture, food security and rural development.

Food security and sustainability concerns

There is increasing concern about food security and the sustainability of current agricultural production globally. The statistics make for alarming reading.

  • To meet global food demands by 2050, agricultural production needs to increase by 60%.
  • Feeding 9 billion people requires more food in the next 40 years than produced in the past 10,000 years.
  • We are losing species at unprecedented rates. This reflects the pressures current farming practices place on the natural environment.

Addressing the food needs of a growing population

We desperately need a sustainable system of producing food. We have to address the food needs of the growing human population while:

  • limiting pressure on resources (energy, minerals and water)
  • minimising negative impacts on the environment
  • not bringing more land under cultivation

Our group aims to find solutions to these challenges. We do this through strategic and translational research. We investigate sustainable agriculture and food systems linked to healthy rural communities.

Our facilities

We perform research at a range of scales from the molecule to the farm. We have access to first-class facilities including:

  • two commercial farms equipped to conduct cutting-edge science under real-world conditions in Northumberland
  • world class facilities on the university campus, for:
    • molecular biology
    • diagnostics
    • soil science
    • proteomics
    • analytical chemistry

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We conduct our research into Agricultural Production Systems under three main themes.

Our partnerships

The research challenges in this area are significant. To address them, we developed partnerships to widen our research capacity. They help us better realise impacts from research we undertake.

Institute for Agri-Food Research Innovations (IAFRI)

The Institute is a partnership with Fera Science Limited.

Fera is a translational science company working in the agri-food space. It is part of a joint ownership with UK Defra.

This partnership provides an interface which allows Fera to access pure and strategic research from the University.

It gives the University access to translate innovations to front line uses. These are for commercial and government customers.

Agritech centres

We are a founding partner in two of the four UK agritech centres. They resulted from a £90m investment by the UK government. They meet challenges of sustainable agriculture in the UK.

As a result, Newcastle University leads on several capital assets owned by the:

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