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Norwich crop researcher will represent UK at youth agriculture summit in Brazil

PUBLISHED: 15:54 31 May 2019 | UPDATED: 16:04 31 May 2019

Joshua Joyce, a plant researcher at Norwich's John Innes Centre, will represent the UK at the Bayer Youth Ag Summit in Brazil. Picture: John Innes Centre

Joshua Joyce, a plant researcher at Norwich's John Innes Centre, will represent the UK at the Bayer Youth Ag Summit in Brazil. Picture: John Innes Centre

John Innes Centre

A Norwich-based crop researcher will join a global discussion on the challenge of feeding a hungry planet at this year's Bayer Youth Ag Summit in Brazil.

Josh Joyce, a PhD candidate in plant sciences at the John Innes Centre, is one of three UK delegates travelling to South America in November to join representatives from 45 other countries to discuss their ideas on how to improve food security in the context of the UN's sustainable development goals.

As a keen educator researching plant-pest interactions and enhancing plant resistance, Mr Joyce seeks to develop a practical, grass-roots programme which equips schoolchildren with greater knowledge of the food cycle and sustainable consumption.

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The event aims to act as an "idea incubator", equipping young farmers, entrepreneurs and researchers with the skills needed to realise their projects.

The 21-year-old, from Melbourn in Cambridgeshire, said: "It is very exciting, and a great opportunity to contribute to the sustainable development goals in reducing global hunger in our own little way, and to enhance what each of us is doing.

"I think any sort of golden solution is a very optimistic thing to be looking out for, but it is always very clear that when you get people together from diverse backgrounds you are much more powerful, and you come up with ideas that are more rigorous, with more potential. Plus there is a chance to get input from all these other people around the table which will help us refine our ideas.

"I am passionate about science education, and I think there is a lot of great science on food security being done, whether it is at the John Innes Centre or across the world, but a lot of people don't know about it or don't know how to deal with it. Food security is a big goal and when you talk to people they feel helpless - but a lot can be achieved through education."

The 100 delegates at the biennial summit will also hear from expert speakers and participate in field trips to learn more about the agricultural industry in Brazil.

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