10 November 1995

Does UKfarming need new blood?

UK AGRICULTURE needs new entrants more than ever before. Or does it?

That question will be addressed at a Royal Agricultural Society of England conference, New Entrants – the reality. Organised with the Family Farmers Association and the National Federation of Young Farmers Clubs, and sponsored by Midland Bank and the NFU Mutual, the conference will take place at the National Agricultural Centre, Stoneleigh, on Tue, Dec 12.

With the many challenges facing UK agriculture it can be argued that new blood is needed more than ever before to help the industry adapt. But for many the cost of starting out in a capital intensive industry, regulated by production quotas, presents an almost insurmountable barrier.

Other EU countries have schemes in place, agreed by the European Commission, to help new entrants. But the UK has chosen not to implement them.

Yet, others may argue that the UK does not have a new entrant problem. With its large farms it is ideally placed to respond to new challenges.

They can also claim that it is unrealistic to expect the UK government to agree to financial help for new entrants. It also unlikely that help will come from within the industry. Those in business may be keen to support new entrants in principle, but only if it can be done at no cost to their own businesses.

Is the problem therefore one of over-expectation? Young people may want to own their own business but should they look for other more realistic alternatives? These are the issues that will be explored at the conference.

Tickets normally cost £30 + £4.38 for coffee, ploughmans lunch and tea and £25 + £3.50 for members of RASE, YFCs FFA and students. farmers weekly readers qualify for a £5 discount. Please complete the coupon to book your place.