The Evidence for Farming Initiative

A single hub for evidence-based best practice for farming and growing

Research has shown that farmers often feel excluded from the decisions being made around research, and lack confidence in the interpretation of advice or evidence being presented. 

On-farm successes and failures are not being exchanged openly to inform innovation, and relevant insight is not easily accessible. This makes it harder to realise better business decisions, to deliver more relevant policy, and discourages an appetite to do things differently.

In response, the Evidence for Farming Initiative (EFI) Initiative aims to improve agricultural performance through providing farmers, growers and their advisers with easy access to the best available evidence on effective and cost-effective practice. The initial pilot for EFI focuses on interventions to work towards net zero. EFI intends to build, over time, a repository of insight into what works in farming and growing – curating material from published research and combining this with evaluations across the sector’s extensive landscape of knowledge-exchange and innovation activity.

Actions

The EFI is:

  • Providing a portal of independent evidence (initially on achieving net zero) that farmers and growers can practically apply.
  • Showing what actions can be taken and how effective these will be in achieving success.  Businesses select the right options for them.
  • Enabling interaction (digital and actual) between pioneering farmers and those seeking to improve.
  • Tracking the financial (and environmental) impact of changes made, feed results back into the evidence base and use that to drive continuous improvement.

Who is leading this work?

EFI is Chaired by Dr Susannah Bolton, Research Director, AHDB and Dr Helen Ferrier, Chief Science & Regulatory Affairs Adviser, NFU, with input and support from a wide range of industry stakeholders.

Resources

The AHDB publishes frequently update industry statistics

The EFI concept has been developed from the What Works Network, more information about which can be found online:

What Works Network - GOV.UK

What works evidence for decision makers update (publishing.service.gov.uk)

The What Works Network - Five Years On (publishing.service.gov.uk)


Last reviewed: 19 Feb 2021