Rural affairs secretary sees vision of climate-positive, futuristic farming

The Scottish Government’s Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and Islands, Mairi Gougeon MSP, got a vision of climate-positive agriculture and future farming technologies when she visited the James Hutton Institute in Dundee.

Ms Gougeon heard about Hutton plans for a Potato Innovation and Translation Hub in Invergowrie. The hub is envisioned as a collaborative partnership of researchers, knowledge brokers and commercial company: a centre for research and translation of innovation to accelerate the adoption of new knowledge and techniques from field to fork.

The Cabinet Secretary heard in detail about the Institute’s Climate-Positive Farming work at Glensaugh Farm, near Laurencekirk. Climate-positive farming is a transformational approach that achieves net-zero or even negative carbon emissions, that also protects and enhances a farm’s natural assets and ensures long-term financial sustainability of the farm business.

As part of her visit, the Cabinet Secretary toured the Future Farming Hub established by farming technology company Liberty Produce and agri-tech centre Crop Health and Protection (CHAP), as well as Intelligent Growth Solutions’ Crop Research Centre, both located at the Hutton Dundee campus.

Intelligent Growth Solutions

Cabinet Secretary Gougeon said:“It is great to get a chance to see some of the innovative work happening right here in Scotland. As we continue to journey to more sustainable farming, we can learn from the measures taken here which could ultimately help us make better use of our land. It’s an exciting road ahead and I’m so proud of all of the hard work that goes into the range of activities happening at the James Hutton Institute campus.”

Professor Colin Campbell, Chief Executive of the James Hutton Institute, added: “It was a pleasure to meet the Cabinet Secretary and colleagues and acknowledge the great support from the Scottish Government for the many exciting things happening at the Institute just now.”

Alexander Giles, Commercial Director at Liberty Produce, commented: “We were delighted to welcome Ms Gougeon to the Future Farming Hub and have the opportunity to brief her on our plans to ensure Scotland becomes a centre of excellence in this rapidly growing sector.”