DESPITE experiencing one of their worst years ever, UK farmers are still among the most generous "givers", according to FARM-Africa – the charity that helps African farmers become self-sufficient.
The average farmer donation last year was £80 – three times the size of the typical charity gift.
"We have a very loyal network of hard-working supporters, many of whom have seen a big drop in their own farm incomes," says FARM-Africas chief executive Christie Peacock.
"The level of their continuing generosity is a magnificent example – it reflects the strong bond between farmers everywhere."
Newly appointed FARM-Africa trustee and RASE president, Lord De Ramsey agrees, describing the news as "heartwarming".
"Im thrilled people are still giving – that £80 goes such a long way in Africa."
The charitys farm and country supporters gave a total of £320,000 last year, with the most recent farmer appeal in December 2001 raising £18,000 in three weeks.
It followed an autumn appeal for cash to buy breeding goats for dairy improvement schemes which generated £12,000 – enough for over 400 goats.
The dairy goat scheme encourages Ethiopian women to form goat groups which are supported by basic veterinary kits and training in animal management. The groups receive local goats on credit and redistribute the kids to other women in the community to expand the project.