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Horticultural Sector Committee: inquiry to hear evidence on R&D in the sector and the availability of water now and in the future

Wednesday 7 June 2023


At 10.30am on Thursday 8 June 2023 the House of Lords Horticultural Sector Committee will be hearing evidence from:

  • Dr Mark Else, Head of Crop Science and Production Systems, National Institute for Agricultural Botany
  • Richard Thompson, Deputy Director, Water Management and Investment, Environment Agency (National Drought Group)
  • Samuel Larsen, Director of Programmes, Water UK.

At 11.30am the committee will hear from:

  • Dr Lee Beniston, Associate Director, Industry Partnerships & Collaborative R&D, Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)
  • Professor Alastair Griffiths, Director of Science and Collections, Royal Horticultural Society.

These evidence sessions, which are open to the public, will be held in Committee Room 3 of the House of Lords and streamed live on Parliament TV.

Topics the committee is likely to cover in these sessions include:

  • How climate change could impact the availability of water for the horticultural sector.
  • Impact of water pollution on the horticultural sector.
  • Barriers to implementing scientific and technological developments to support innovation in water management.
  • Effectiveness of the planning process for developing effective water management infrastructure.
  • Areas that should be prioritised for research and development (R&D).
  • Current R&D funding models for the horticultural sector.
  • Potential effectiveness of the UK’s alternative to Horizon Europe.

More about this inquiry

The cross-party Horticultural Sector Committee is considering the challenges, opportunities and risks faced by the horticultural sector, including the impact of rising input costs and labour and skills shortages, and how innovative technologies might address these issues and other pressing challenges such as the impact of climate change on productivity and food supply. In addition, it will explore how policy can support the sector in meeting the Government’s ambitions for levelling up and post-Brexit trade policy. It will publish its report by the end of this year.

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