5 July 2002

Farmers too proud

THOUSANDS of farmers who could be in need of financial assistance are not coming forward to ask for help, says the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution.

Speaking at the show RABI chairman, John Wallis, said he was concerned that there were still many farming families suffering hardship as a result of last years foot-and-mouth epidemic.

"In a survey of 1000 of the 8000 farming families who we helped last year, we asked if they knew of anyone who was in need, but had not asked for help – 37% said yes. That means there were 3000 farmers who were known by others to be struggling, but who had not sought help," said Mr Wallis, who thought that people may be too proud to come forward.

"During the F&M restrictions, when everyone was suffering financial hardship, it was not so difficult to swallow ones pride and ask for help. Now it is a lot harder to admit that you are in trouble.

"The F&M crisis may be a thing of the past in the eyes of the public, but the scars are deep and in an increasing number of cases the long-term, knock-on effects are only now becoming manifest."

Those in the farming community who are suffering can contact RABI on 01865-727 888. &#42