Are you ready to take on The Farm Tech Challenge?
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Think about your lunch today.... do you know where your food came from?
The world’s population is growing fast….
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The food in our shopping trolley comes from farms all over the world.
Global food security means that all people around the world have access to enough food.
Well done! The world’s population grows by 200,000 a day.
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Every day, the world population increases by more than 200,000 people.
How many people do you think the world’s population grows by each day?
By 2050, there will be over 9 billion people in the world.
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Global food security means that all people around the world have access to enough food.
Farmers around the world manage their land to produce our food
Farmers rely on good soil
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But our soil is at risk
Without soil we couldn’t grow food
Every second we lose a football pitch of farmland.
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Nature takes 500 years to replace 25mm of lost soil
Reduced traffic
Planting hedgerows
Permanent cover
Soil that is not protected by vegetation or on slopes will be vulnerable to water erosion. When it rains, soil particles will wash into rivers and streams. This can have the knock-on effect of causing sedimentation which could lead to flooding downstream.
Managing threats to soil. Click on the icons to learn more
Organic matter helps the soil retain moisture, improves the structure and is a useful source of nutrients for growing crops. If the organic matter in the soil is not replaced, soil is vulnerable to erosion.
Crop rotation
Wind erosion
Water erosion
Loss of organic matter
If the soil is left bare, it is vulnerable to rain and wind. A ‘cover crop’ will protect the soil from erosion, help retain moisture and when it is ploughed into the soil it will improve the nutrients and organic matter.
Every time a farmer drives a tractor over the field, the soil will become compacted. If the farmer is able to plant seeds for the new crop directly after harvesting, they will reduce the compaction on the field.
A fine dry soil with no vegetation will be very vulnerable to wind erosion.
Hedgerows break up large expanses of land and can act as a barrier to wind. They also provide a habitat for nesting birds, pollinating insects and wild flowers.
Rotating crops ensures that essential components of the soil are not depleted. Different crops have different root types that can improve the structure of the soil. Some crops like peas and beans can fix nitrogen which the next crop will use as fertiliser. Also after the crop is harvested, the waste material breaks down into organic matter in the soil.
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If the soil in vulnerable areas is not managed appropriately, desertification may occur. Climate change, overgrazing and the removal of vegetation will lead to the loss of moisture and soil structure.
Every time a farmer drives a tractor over the field or carries out other operations, the soil will become compacted. Compacted soil will not allow roots to grow effectively and water will not be able to penetrate, increasing the risk of surface erosion.
Farming and biodiversity go hand in hand.
… and beneficial insects can help control insect pests.
More than a third of the world’s crops depend on pollination by insects.
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Traditional meadows can provide habitats and food for insects throughout the year.
Farmers can plant flowering field margins around their field to provide vital habitats for insects.
More than a third of the world’s crops depend on pollination by insects.
Flowering crops
Hedgerows can break up the landscape and provide food and nesting sites for birds, insects and wild flowers.
To help insects flourish, we can create and care for diverse habitats.
Farmers can create beetle banks to provide a habitat for beetles and other insects.
… and beneficial insects can help control insect pests. Click on each section to learn more.
Beetle bank
Large expanses of concrete and manicured lawns are not very good for insects. We can help by planting wildflowers and insect-friendly plants in our gardens.
To help insects flourish, we can create and care for diverse habitats. Explore the landscape to learn more.
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Flowering field margin
City/Urban environment
Some flowering crops such as oilseed rape or beans will provide insects with a source of nectar and pollen and rely on insects for their pollination.
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34% of the world’s population work in agriculture
Many of the world’s farmers are smallholders in rural communities
Approximately 180,000 people leave rural communities every day to live in cities in the hope of a better life.
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Syngenta uses science and technology to help millions of farmers around the UK and the world.
Help us shape the future
Our seeds, crop protection products and associated technologies help farmers grow better crops
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Farmers across the world are embracing new technologies
Farmers can receive information about their crops direct to their phones
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Sensors can even detect pests and diseases
Sensors can detect a host of conditions
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with weather alerts and forecasts.
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Around 2,000 people work for Syngenta in the UK
Syngenta in the UK
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In the next 50 years, farmers must produce more food than in the last 10,000
But we’re using resources 50% faster than the planet can sustain.
The UN estimates we’ll need…
How can we meet this challenge? …While protecting our natural world …and helping our farming communities?
Rescue more farmland Protecting soil and reducing erosion.
Syngenta has developed the Good Growth Plan to address some of the large global challenges
Help people stay safe Improving the health and safety of all people on the farm.
Help biodiversity flourish Looking after all wildlife in a farmed environment.
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Make crops more efficient Producing more food in a sustainable way.
Empower smallholders Finding solutions that work on a small scale in rural communities.
The Good Growth Plan
Look after every worker Strive for fair labour conditions throughout our entire supply chain network.
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We need your help… The Farm Tech Challenge Design and develop a programmable digital system to address one of the themes of the Good Growth Plan.
Protect soil?
Help smallholders?
Help farm workers?
Improve biodiversity?
How would you like your invention to help farmers?
Improve farm safety?
Produce more food?
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Raspberry Pi?
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What technology will you use?
BBC Micro:bit?
Whatever you choose, your system should gather data, process it, and produce a useful output.
A mobile app?
3D printing?
2015/16 winners
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Empower smallholders
Team Butter-wings - St Clement Danes School, Hertfordshire
Farm Tech Challenge UK
More information
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Follow us on social media:
What is your vision of the farm of the future?
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