As part of the iSAGE project ORC and the National Sheep Association (NSA) interviewed sheep and goat farmers in the UK to identify challenges and constraints they face, and the innovations that iSAGE could bring to the sector.
“We rely on researchers and innovators”, a farmer says when we embark on our interview. In the everyday challenges that surround the sheep and goat sector, farmers perceive research as key to finding solutions to their real problems.
Dairy farmers, meat producers and wool producers all identified climate change, poor marketing skills and changes in consumer demand as major threats to the sheep and goat sector.
Farmers during the interviews showed a genuine interest in the participatory research and knowledge exchange with researchers, industrial partners and consumers that iSAGE will bring, whether through innovative management practices, breeding programmes or new ideas.
A more extensive survey including a large number of farms throughout the UK will take place in the next few months to gain deeper insights into the sheep and goat farming sector.
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