An agricultural university in the Cotswolds will be increasing its focus on how to increase the UK’s food security thanks to a £2 million donation from a foundation.
The John Oldacre Foundation, a long-term funder of doctoral studies has given a generous donation of £2m to the educational and research facility of the Royal Agricultural University (RAU) to help boost agriculture and food security research.
Pedzisai Nemadziba from Zimbabwe, one of the two John Oldacre scholars at RAU who is already receiving a financial support of nearly £190,000, is developing strategies for the UK to successfully grow large-scale soybean crops, which have lower reliance on fertilizers and are becoming a growing part of our diet.
The other is Caitlin Willis, whose work is focused on investigating insecticide resistance in UK populations of oil seed rape pests.
Pedzisai’s PhD supervisor and RAU’s principal lecturer in agronomy, Dr Nicola Cannon, said: “It is an honour that the foundation has chosen to build on its already generous support for research at the RAU.
“It means we can increase our focus on studies that offer benefits to farmers, the environment and the public by improving the carbon footprint of agriculture and reducing input costs.”
Professor Joanna Price, vice-chancellor of the Royal Agricultural University said:
“Investment in PhD students is critical for ensuring that we address future challenges facing agriculture and for the RAU to make an impact in areas like global food security, crop resilience and climate change.”