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HELM TALKS: FARMING Lecture 5

Dieter Helm's lecture series on farming.

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HELM TALKS: FARMING Lecture 5

  1. 1. THEMES • Land use after the Environment Bill & Agriculture Bill • Land use as technology bites • Land use and net zero • What we will eat? • How 8 billion people will be fed? • What sort of people will be farmers?
  2. 2. LAND USE AFTER ENVIRONMENT BILL & AGRICULTURE BILL • Natural environment enhanced as public goods provided • A lot less agricultural pollution – better rivers, air quality, access to countryside and better health • Less land used primarily to produce food A greener and more prosperous land
  3. 3. LAND USE AS TECHNOLOGY BITES • Shift from outdoors to indoors • Intensive indoor production using LED or regulated water & solar power & non- chemical techniques • Protein production as part of bioscience revolution • Further exit of farm labour from the countryside
  4. 4. NET ZERO LANDSCAPES • Lots more trees • Lots more carbon in the soils • Lots more protected peat bogs • Biocrops • Decarbonising solar energy • Electrification of farm machinery
  5. 5. WHAT WILL WE EAT? • Shift towards more plant-based diets • Shift towards synthetic foods • Shift towards plant-based proteins • Individual genome-designed foods AND less wild fish, less beef, sheep & pork
  6. 6. HOW WILL 8 BILLION PEOPLE BE FED? • The scale of the technological revolution • Desalination & abundant water supplies • Algae and other new foods forms • Insect proteins • Indoor vertical farms And lots of surprises too…
  7. 7. WHAT SORT OF PEOPLE WILL BE FARMERS? • Almost zero manual workers • Further depopulation of the land • Rural commodities useing fibre & ICT • Computer and data scientists • Geneticists & bioscientists • Electricians (LED) • Ancillary services/support

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