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Peer suggests redirecting funds for organic farming to research

A Liberal Democrat peer has proposed that government money for organic farming should instead be given to agricultural and food research institutes.

In a debate on genetically modified food in the House of Lords on 17 October, Lib Dem peer Dick Taverne asked Conservative peer Rupert Ponsonby whether he would lobby the farming minister to “transfer the millions of pounds that are available for conversion to organic farming…to our first-class research institutes such as Rothamsted and the John Innes Centre”.

Ponsonby replied that the government’s recently announced agri-tech strategy would "go a long way towards achieving the objectives that [Taverne] desires”. The strategy was published on 22 July and pledged £160 million for agricultural innovation centres and collaborative R&D projects.

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