The region has a proud heritage in farming and agriculture remains an important sector with 20,634 farm workers and 460,000 hectares of farmed land, making up 77.2% of total land.
As growing populations and climate change put increased pressure on the way we produce our food, the agri-tech sector has an increasingly important role to play in providing solutions.
At the heart of agri-tech in the Marches is Harper Adams University in Telford & Wrekin. It is the world leader in agri-tech research and the largest specialist land-based institution in the UK.
Surrounding Harper Adams are many small companies operating in distinct niches as well as some larger firms and multinationals. Ni-Park – just down the road from Harper Adams in Newport – will provide vital start-up and grow on space for agri-tech companies.
The National Centre for Precision Farming, based at Harper Adams, is developing automation, drones and autonomous systems whilst the university is also a partner in 5G Rural First to use agri-tech to support autonomous farm vehicles, crop/soil condition mapping and augmented veterinary.