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Investment fund launched to support sustainable innovation in farming



A new £8 million venture capital fund has been launched to support sustainable innovation in the UK agri-tech sector.

The Agri-Innovation Venture Capital Fund, launched in a joint effort by Norwich-based consultants Adapt Low Carbon Group and Japanese commercial investors Tsukuba Technology Seed Co (TTS), will support small and medium-sized enterprises in a variety of potential sectors.

Businesses seeking to pioneer new ways to improve water or energy efficiency, control pests or encourage precision farming and improved farm management will be covered.

Initially, the two firms will co-invest current TTS funds and the Adapt Low Carbon Group’s Low Carbon Innovation Fund into agricultural technology. By late 2015, they plan to invest with new capital streams from both the UK and Japan.

[The fund] signifies the natural progression of our long term work in the agri-tech sector and innovation funding, said Adapt Low Carbon Group CEO John French.

Yoshiki Sasaki, CEO of TTS Co, added, “We believe it will really unlock the potential for innovative companies in the agri-tech sector to expand and grow through high quality international partnerships and provide access to new markets.” 

A report published last week claimed that adopting a sustainable approach to agriculture could help the UK tackle the related challenges of food poverty, obesity and environmental degradation.

Published by the Food Research Collaboration and a coalition of campaign groups, including the National Trust and RSPB, it urged ministers to deliver stronger policies on food, conservation and agricultural land use.

According to the UN, in 2050 the world will have to sustainably produce 70% more food that it does today, as population growth drives demand. 

Photo: Steven Depolo via Flickr

Further reading:

Sustainable and ecological agriculture could feed 3bn more people

Study: UK must adopt sustainable approach to food, health and farming

JPMorgan Chase launches conservation impact investment initiative

Farming chief says extreme weather threatens UK agriculture

UK farmers at risk of water shortages by 2020, says climate watchdog 


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