Defra have published a Plant Health Research and Development Plan (2023 to 2028).

The plan summarises how Defra currently meets its plant health research and development needs and identifies our priorities for the future. It will guide the commissioning of Defra’s plant health research for the next five years, and the priorities of our research programmes and partnerships.

The plan identifies and aims to deliver 4 plant health research and development strategic objectives to:

  • Enhance Defra’s understanding and knowledge of plant health issues and solutions to protect us from threats.
  • Provide evidence on which to develop risk-based policy approaches, and to enable Defra’s delivery partners and practitioners to make robust decisions and take action.
  • Develop and deploy innovation and new technologies in support of Defra’s plant health policy objectives.
  • Provide world class plant health research capability.

It outlines the 6 research themes that have been identified from Defra’s policy documents and which will inform the department’s plant health research and development needs.

  • Theme 1: Risk assessment and horizon scanning
  • Theme 2: Inspections, diagnostics and surveillance
  • Theme 3: Management of pests and diseases
  • Theme 4: Resilience and adaptation
  • Theme 5: Plant health related behaviours
  • Theme 6: Evaluation