With rising food demand and pressure on resources challenging farmers to produce more with less, boosting knowledge and skills is essential, says the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB).
The organisation has therefore accepted the call made by the recently published Future of Farming review for it to champion the benefits of skills development and professionalism across the industry.
It has drawn up a draft strategy on the subject and will be gauging industry opinion on it until September 16.
Responses will then be considered by the cross-industry management group of the AgriSkills Forum, chaired by Lantra Council Member and National Pig Association chairman Richard Longthorp.
It is hoped the strategy will then be launched with ministerial backing at a Westminster Skills Summit in November.
“As an industry-funded levy board and independent organisation with no commercial affiliation, AHDB is well placed to bring the industry together to work on the complex arena of skills,” Longthorp said.
“We need their leadership to help move the skills agenda forward for our industry, building on initiatives where industry and skills providers are already working well in partnership.
“A strategy will give all of us working in the industry a shared vision and future pathway, something we can all get behind without requiring stakeholders to lose ownership or control of their own, much valued skills initiatives.”
AHDB chief executive Tom Taylor added: “The consultation document builds on the 2010 AgriSkills Forum Strategy – Towards a New Professionalism – and the recently launched government Agri-Tech Strategy. We need to work with others that are developing aspects of the five streams of work.”
The draft strategy is available to download from the AHDB website.
Consultation responses should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.