10 July 1998

CLAs policy call

AGENDA 2000 CAP reform proposals fail to give enough attention to rural matters, warns the Country Landowners Association, which wants to see a European rural policy.

Speaking at the show, deputy president, Anthony Bosanquet, said rural matters had been an afterthought which should be pushed up the ECCommissions agenda.

"We are calling on the commission to adopt a rural development policy which maintains an efficient and dynamic agricultural industry which can compete at world level." It was also important to take account of economic, social, demographic and environmental needs, he said.

"Pressures on traditional rural communities and the lack of profitability of traditional farming, mean that the quest for alternative forms of land use and farming practices must be integral to rural development."

That included the development of alternative crops for biomass, pharmaceuticals and plastics, and for alternative methods of food production, such as organic farming or uneconomic low intensity farming systems. &#42