Defra looks to the future

Defra has published two reports in the past week outlining strategies for the future in terms of sustainability and effects of climate change.

The annual departmental report and the UK Climate Projections 2009 report have set out the performance of the past year for the department and the challenges ahead which has been described by Secretary of State Hilary Benn as a year of achievement for Defra.

Benn said: “We’ve worked with farmers to deal with diseases like avian influenza and bluetongue, and having made a difficult decision on bovine TB and badgers, we’re now moving towards testing an injectable TB vaccine.”

He added: “With our new responsibility for coordinating food policy across government we are working to keep supply chains secure and the agricultural sector productive. We’ve been tracking the impact of the recession on rural communities, and working with Regional Development Agencies and others to provide support where it is needed. We’ve also made help available to farmers through the RDPE (Rural Development Programme for England) and overseen a further improvement in the performance of the single payment scheme.”

The Climate Projections report is said to be a groundbreaking, Defra-funded tool, which will help the country understand how the climate will change during the 21st century with predictions that agricultural pests and diseases could increase over the next 40 years due to climate change.