Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture (SASA), a division of the Scottish Government Agriculture and Rural Economy Directorate, provides scientific services and advice to support Scotland’s agriculture and environment.
SASA occupies a world class laboratory, glasshouse and experimental farm facility on the outskirts of Edinburgh where a community of 100 scientists and their supporters work to ensure the quality, safety and security of our food supply in Scotland, and contribute to the quality of our environment.
The work of SASA biologists and chemists is aimed at:
- Ensuring the quality of seeds and tubers for planting, and new crop varieties;
- Keeping field and horticultural crops free of damaging diseases;
- Keeping serious pests of plants out of the UK and Scotland;
- Acting as the Scottish Government's Inspectorate of genetically-modified crops;
- Developing new and more sensitive diagnostic tests for pests and diseases;
- Preserving and maintaining a wide range of historic, heritage and other varieties of potatoes, cereals, peas and brassicas;
- Monitoring the pesticide load in our diet, and the pattern of use of pesticides in Scotland;
- Protecting wildlife against deliberate or accidental poisoning;
- Understanding the ecology of important vertebrate species (e.g. rabbits, foxes, geese).