Sustainable Agriculture Food & Forestry

Sustainable Agriculture Food & Forestry


By 2050, more than 1 billion hectares of extra wild land will need to be converted to farmland to feed the projected global population. In Ireland agriculture and forestry occupy over 70% of the total land area. Economically, the agri-food sector is Ireland’s largest indigenous industry with exports worth over €8bn p.a. with an aim to increase this to €12 billion (Food Harvest 2020). The overarching environmental challenge is how to reconcile the need to meet the rising demand for food without negatively impacting on the environment and meeting national environment commitments. Sustainable agriculture takes an integrated view of agricultural systems and addresses issues of environmental sustainability, food security, human health, and economic and social well-being. The theme brings together UCC Principal Investigators from the natural and social sciences and from a number of engineering disciplines. The vision of the Sustainable Agriculture, Food & Forestry group is to use the multidisciplinary expertise in the theme to offer more rounded solutions to the challenges facing the Irish and global agricultural system.



The group has research expertise in the following areas: Natural Biological Control, New & Improved Crops, Energy Crops & Carbon Sequestration, Food & Society, Plant Adaptation Responses, and Plant-Bacterial Interactions. The group has research collaborations with numerous national & international Universities/Institutes throughout the EU and national projects such as FOODLINKS, VALORAM & SYMBIOSIS. They have published widely in journals and books and hold a number of patents on technologies related to sustainable agriculture. The theme’s PIs are editors of key journals in the area of sustainable agriculture and are involved in teaching activities in this area in UCC (e.g. a new MSc programme in Organic Horticulture).



Professor Peter Jones (Lead PI), Dr Marcel Jansen, Dr Colin Sage, Dr Padraig Whelan, Dr Barbara Doyle, Dr Eoin Lettice, Professor Ger Kiely, Professor Nora O’Brien, Dr Jerry Murphy, Professor John O’Halloran, Professor Fergal O’Gara and Professor Alan Dobson. 

Environmental Research Institute

University College Cork, Lee Road, Cork