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PRECISION agriculture, and how it can help feed a growing world population from less land and diminishing resources, will be the focus of a meeting in Edinburgh next Monday, July 17.

Technologies like robotics, sensors and artificial intelligence offer revolutionary solutions to some fundamental food production issues, and the event will showcase this, combined with keynote sessions, workshops and a day long field visit, the following Thursday July 20, to the James Hutton Institute’s facilities outside Dundee.

Representing SRUC, the lead academic host for the event, Dr Tony Waterhouse explained: “Precision agriculture is in use across the world. We are all learning far more precise and efficient ways to grow livestock and crops without using so many pesticides, wasting nutrients or damaging vital soils.

"Delegates from the Americas, Australasia, Europe and China will be explaining developments in the use of sensors and other technologies in vinyards, mountain pastures and intensive cropping systems both tropical and temperate.

“Making progress requires partnerships and collaborations," said Dr Waterhouse. "Scotland is playing its part as staff from SRUC, the James Hutton Institute, the Moredun Research Institute and others will explain. However in the case of Precision Agriculture, the links between academia and industry and between Research and Practice are absolutely critical, so I think it’s significant that there are almost as many representatives from industry registered for the event as academics. It shows this is a sector with real potential.”