Agri-tech in focus for MEP visit - The Evesham Observer

Agri-tech in focus for MEP visit

Evesham Editorial 9th Sep, 2018   0

GREEN-FINGERED staff at Pershore College welcomed West Midlands Conservative MEP Anthea McIntyre for a tour and a peek at its state-of-the-art agri-tech facilities.

Staff and students welcomed Ms McIntyre to discuss the benefits of agri-tech and how it is responding to the skills shortage within the agriculture and horticulture sectors within Worcestershire.

The MEP was given a tour of the site by Pershore College director Sharon Bell and Roy Kennedy, professor in agri-tech research and development, which showcased the dedicated agri-tech laboratories which are used to educate students and businesses on the modern applications of this innovative sector.

Pershore College’s Agri-Tech Centre was completed in 2017 with the support of funding from Worcestershire LEP. The investment has enabled the college to develop and deliver a programme of support for schools to raise awareness of agriculture and horticulture as high-tech, highly-skilled industries, in order to encourage more young people to consider a career within these sectors.

“I am passionate about advances in agricultural technology to boost food security, productivity and sustainability, so it was wonderful to see the superb work being done in this direction by Prof Roy Kennedy, his academic team and the students at Pershore College,” Ms McIntrye said.

“Their activity is at the cutting edge and the facilities provided in the new Agri-Tech Centre are exciting. I was particularly impressed by the facilities and research covering hydroponics, but the whole set-up is excellent and this is exactly the kind of advanced application of technology that should be embraced by governments across the EU,” she added.

The Pershore College Agri-tech Centre houses electronic, robotic and computer-based technologies which are used to educate and train students and local employers on modern applications of agri-tech.These technologies are deployed across the centre’s growing areas to experiment, test and demonstrate innovation and automation across a wide variety of settings.

The Agri-technology (Food Production and Plant Science) course is designed to address current and pressing skills shortages in agriculture and horticulture that act as a barrier to innovation and growth for this important sector in Worcestershire.

The laboratory, live field-based experimentation and demonstration facility enable the college, local horticultural businesses and students to work together to meet the challenges of food and plant production with the latest agricultural technologies.

“We were delighted to host Anthea at Pershore College, and explain not only are we are able to offer superb training facilities, but also talk about the work we do with local growers on pioneering research trials to tackle key industry challenges facing the sector,” Mrs Bell said.


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