16 May 2024 Public Meeting

Left to right, James Clarke (Rothamsted), Katherine Tate (The Food Teacher) and Jeff Phillips (Chairman, The Harpenden Society).

Farming well and eating well


Exciting new developments in the world of agriculture, driven by new technology, including artificial intelligence, were spelled out by James Clarke, communications and engagement director of Rothamsted Research, at a public meeting on May 16 organised by the Harpenden Society in the lecture theatre of Katherine Warington School.

Under the questioning title 'Can we eat well sustainably?', Mr Clarke asserted that in the next 50 years we will (globally) need to produce as much food as has been consumed over our entire human history. Sustainable farming will be key and that will need multiple solutions, he said, not least because of the effects of climate change, adding that we must reduce the use of chemicals, making their application much more selective, helped by the smart use of robots and drones. A more holistic approach was needed, in order to raise productivity, per acre or hectare, biology had to be made to work in our favour


Following Mr Clarkes presentation and on a complementary subject, Katharine Tate, a Harpenden-based award-winning nutritionist, (The Food Teacher) described how How healthy eating can keep you fit and well, with an emphasis on controlling ones blood sugar level through following a sensible diet, based on a range of nutrients, including a rainbow of different coloured fruit and vegetables.

The above presentations were preceded by the Society AGM, hosted by Chair Jeff Phillips.