The family farm has been overlooked and undervalued by political leaders, according to the Farmers Union of Wales.
The FUW’s 2010 General Election Manifesto said that Welsh family farms are central to the livelihoods of thousands of people living and working in rural areas and must not be undervalued by politicians.
“Whatever the political issue, whether it is climate change, animal health and welfare, the negotiation of global trade agreements, or any of the other agriculturally-related topics that affect the electorate, the family farm has a central role to play, and those politicians who ignore this do so at our peril,” said FUW president, Gareth Vaughan.
He also drew attention to the future of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and the influence its reform will have on the long term welfare of UK citizens.
“With the world population expected to rise to between nine and 10 billion by 2050, and predicted reductions in global agricultural productivity per hectare, there is clearly a need for appropriate action that balances food production against environmental considerations, and mitigating climate change without compromising food security is one of the most significant long term challenges facing mankind,” he added.
Mr Vaughan accepted devolution had reduced the range of agricultural issues over which MPs have a direct influence over in Wales, but said there were still a number of overarching policies of concern for Welsh rural communities.
Many of these topics would be the subject of detailed consideration during the next Parliament, and the decisions taken by Westminster that followed would have vital implications for both the agricultural industry and all UK citizens over the coming years.
“For the period of the next Parliament and beyond the FUW is therefore committed to lobbying all those in Westminster to ensure that agriculture and family farms receive the attention and respect that they warrant – for the sake of all our futures.”
See more stories on the election on our special report page.