A combine harvester in a wheat field


It is anticipated that the world will require the production of an additional 30% of primary foodstuffs by 2030. Present rates of crop yield improvement mean that the world would fall far short of that target.

Crop production already accounts for more water consumption than all other uses combined and relies heavily on the unsustainable use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides. In a changing climate, water resources are likely to become more scarce, conflictingly, nitrogen fertilisers require greenhouse gas emitting fossil fuels for production and phosphorus resources may be approaching exhaustion. Furthermore, excessive resource use has a significant environmental impact (desertification, salinisation, eutrophication). A shortfall in food supply versus demand would also incentivise expansion of agriculture onto more sensitive land, including the further destruction of natural habitats.

We aim to facilitate the development of globally relevant and accessible food systems by 2030. The key challenge areas that we are working on include

  • increasing crop production and closing the yield gap whilst using fewer resources and with reduced environmental impacts
  • delivering sustainable landscapes to provide food and fibre
  • reducing food waste
  • facilitating food justice

Group Leader

Martin Parry

Professor Martin Parry

Professor in Plant Science for Food Security

Plant and Crop Science