Scotland is a wee country that has always punched above its weight in agricultural innovation. Some of the best crop management practices and livestock husbandry methods that came out of the Victorian and pre-Victorian era remain the foundations of many farming systems here and across the world.

We still have some 'key influencers' innovating on Scottish farms, taking fresh thinking and new technology to new levels. We have world class research facilities at the likes of the John Hutton Institute and SRUC, and yet we are in danger of being left behind on a technological level at the proverbial train station, while other countries leave on a fast-track to more productive agriculture now that they have had the blindfold removed by the harsh lessons coming out of war.

There is no doubt that the tragedies that are unfolding in Ukraine, especially in the Black Sea area that is so crucial to world trade in foodstuffs, has concentrated the minds of those 'thinking' politicians elsewhere in the world. Even the tanker that is difficult to turn, the EU, has accepted that food security is of paramount importance.

Even the most blinkered of EU MEPs can now see that a dependence on Russian oil and gas had led them to a point where Putin had them by the short and curlies. This has elicited massive change in the provision of fuel across Europe, pushed up prices inexorably and sharpened the focus on 'home-grown' fuel/power.

The enlightened will see that it should also be so for food and that the future lies in the genes! This is not the time to rely on the supply of the cheapest food from 'wherever' in the world. This is a time to plan ahead, with a long-term strategy, that embraces a need for supply chains that can withstand the pressures of global economics and are protected from such.

That's why we need to embrace the technology that will help us produce food more cheaply, with fewer inputs and be capable of withstanding the worst that changing weather cycles can throw at us.

This is why we need to embrace gene-editing technology, especially for crops. For England and Wales, the government has signed off plans to explore this exciting area by funding research to find the true capabilities of such technology – but it must not be with the intention of setting out with an 'answer' before the questions have been asked. Monsanto's mistakes must be heeded.

In the EU, it is now almost certain that legislators will grasp the nettle and research thoroughly and potentially embrace any proven benefits of gene editing. In Scotland, we still have the means to be on the front carriage of the train that leads to properly researched data proving the safety of such ... and yet government here has not even given a hint that a ticket for this train might be available.

The 'greening' of agriculture is a cornerstone of the Scottish administration's ambitions. Why, then, stand sheepishly at the back while others are taking up the challenge of innovation. Lower chemical use, less reliance on manufactured fertilisers and crops that can withstand pestilence and drought ... what's not to like?