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The Centre for Rural Policy Research (CRPR)

Centre for Rural Policy Research
College of Social Sciences & International Studies
Room 338 Amory Building
Rennes Drive
01392 722438 (general enquiries)

The Centre for Rural Policy Research - CRPR An inter-disciplinary team of social scientists interested in the rural economy and society. The focus is on: agricultural, environmental and bioenergy policy; sustainable land management; agro-food regulation; sustainable communities; the social and economic development of agriculture; and impacts of climate change on farming and land use. The University tends to take a socio-economic approach to rural issues, with research addressing issues such as how farmers interact with internet sources to improve their resource management knowledge, socio-economic aspects of local and national organic farming markets, improving the success of agri-environment initiatives by looking at the role of farmer learning and landscape context, and the economics of organic farming.
A new £2 million project, the Sustainable Intensification Platform (SIP) - funded by the Department for Environment, Fisheries and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) is investigating intensifying agricultural land management to produce more food whilst also improving environmental management.
The project is designed to help farmers develop their management practices through adopting new techniques and collaboration with each other is being led by academics at the University of Exeter’s (CRPR).
A Rural Family Business Research Hub has been proposed, following the success of the Family Business Growth Programme (FBGP), a partnership with rural property business Clinton Devon Estates and funded by DEFRA. The FBGP provided family-run rural and agricultural businesses with business research and training.
The Centre is also working with partners such as DEFRA to influence policy as well as working in alliance with a number of other institutions to meet the need for research to help secure global food security and resilient land management, areas which are closely aligned with the work of the CRPR.
The five year Sustainable Rural Futures (SRF) programme (2009-2014) was a coordinated set of research and knowledge exchange activities designed to help secure a sustainable future for the agro-food sector and land-based rural economic activities in Devon and the wider South West. The SRF programme employs the framework of ecosystems services and assessment to synthesise its research and knowledge exchange activities. Ecosystem assessment is designed to provide a way to explore the state and value of natural resources as the basis for more informed decision making. This framework allows the programme to assess different trajectories of sustainability in an integrated way, and represents an innovative approach to sustainable resource management in a rural/agricultural context.
The Centre of Rural Policy Research has a comprehensive list of current and past research projects. These include research into policies such as the evaluation of the Family Business Growth Programme as well as research papers into Bovine TB, woodland creation and ecosystems.