BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific North Midlands/East West/South-West London/South North Midlands/East West/South-West London/South
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
    You are in: UK: England  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
England
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales
Politics
Education
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
 Tuesday, 7 January, 2003, 12:09 GMT
Farming crisis as young desert industry
Farming
Sir Donald says farmers are disillusioned
The farming industry in the north of England is in danger of being wiped out, according to a government adviser.

Sir Donald Curry, chair of the Meat and Livestock Commission, says farmers are disillusioned and leaving the industry "in droves".

Sir Donald, a former Tynedale farmer and National Farmers' Union (NFU) official, says more government help is needed to attract younger people into farming.

He is addressing a major conference on the future of farming, to be attended by Environment Secretary Margaret Beckett.

Sir Donald Curry
Sir Donald Curry: More young people needed

Sir Donald said the average salary of farmers in the North East has dropped to below 10,000 a year.

He warned that if more young people could not be tempted into farming, the future of the industry in the region would be seriously jeopardised.

Sir Donald said: "Farming has gone through such a dire period and farmers are feeling very disillusioned and are lacking in confidence.

"Now the government has got to do its part and so have the food manufacturers and retailers."

The Curry Commission report, published in 2002, recommended a shift in policy to make farms less dependent on subsidies and more responsive to the demands of consumers.

It suggested diverting money earmarked for the European Union's controversial Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) into "green" schemes instead.

'Fundamental problem'

But Sir Donald warned: "Young people do not see the farming industry as an attractive career.

"Many farming families across the north have seen their sons and daughters leave the industry.

"We have to try and make an industry that generates profit or else young people will not be attracted back.

"This is a fundamental problem which I highlighted in the report I submitted to the government."

The government says it wants farmers to become more enterprising and environmentally friendly.

In July 2002, Chancellor Gordon Brown announced 400m earmarked for efforts to promote sustainable farming.

  WATCH/LISTEN
  ON THIS STORY
  Sir Donald Curry
"Young people don't see farming as a profitable career"
See also:

06 Jan 03 | England
06 Nov 02 | Politics
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more England stories are at the foot of the page.


 E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more England stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes