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NFU AGM REPORT - Agriculture Needs to Produce More

by 5m Editor
17 February 2009, at 11:34am

UK - The UK agriculture industry has to start producing more while at the same time taking care of the environment.

National Farmers' Union president, speaking to the annual meeting and conference said that agriculture in the UK is already making as large contribution to the country's income.

"Last year Britain's GDP fell by 1.8 per cent. By contrast, total income from farming rose by 36 per cent and our contribution to GDP increased by 38 per cent," he said.

"We are in a new era when we must produce more and at the same time impact on the environment less. That is the new agenda for farming."

He said he wanted to see British farming put back into the centre of the economy during 2009 "not just neglected on the margins."

"Farming needs to be seen as part of a much bigger economic fabric," Mr Kendall said.

"It lies at the centre of a rural economy that turns over £300 billion a year and employs 5.5 million people.

"It is part of the food industry that in manufacturing terms far outweighs such traditional industries as steel, shipbuilding or cars.

"Taken as a whole the food chain is an impressive and vital part of the country's economy, contributing £80 billion, employing 3.6 million people and exporting a record £13 billion of goods in 2008."