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'Ag zone' created in Lincolnshire and Rutland to boost farming sector

An 'agricultural growth zone' has been established to support the growth of Lincolnshire and Rutland’s agricultural sector.

The new 'ag zone' aims to create a centre to support agriculture and a skills pipeline to attract the next generation into the industry.

This will include engagement with schools, as well as continuing professional development for the farming industry.

Greater Lincolnshire has the UK’s leading agricultural sector, where there are over 75,000 people employed in farming, food processing and distribution.

Farms in the region produce over £2 billion of crops and livestock - 11% of the English total - with particular strengths in fresh vegetables.

The new ag zone will continue the growth of collaborative research, which has attracted over £60m of investment to the area since 2016.

This has supported the establishment of new agri-tech businesses such as Fruitcast and Agaricus Robots, both created in 2021.

The initiative will also work to secure additional investment to help Lincolnshire farmers adopt new technologies.

The ag zone was announced at the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership’s annual conference on Thursday (10 November).

Sarah Louise Fairburn, deputy chair of the Greater Lincolnshire LEP, said: “We know the agriculture sector is changing rapidly as the food chain reacts to pressures created by the pandemic, conflict in Europe, the cost of living crisis and policy changes.

“It is vital we help the industry adopt new technology and skills, support investment in the industry and address long-term challenges such as climate change.

"By bringing the key organisations together who work on this in Lincolnshire we will help our farmers and support the continued growth of the agri-tech sector through the work of the ag zone.”

The ag zone will see organisations work together, such as Bishop Burton College, Lincolnshire Agricultural Society, the Lincoln Institute of Agricultural Technology (LIAT), Barclays Eagle Farm Lab and a cluster of agri-tech firms.


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