11:29am Wednesday 29th June 2011
Dear editor – Nothing stands still, 100 years ago there was hardly a herd of dairy cows with more than 25 cows, today most herds have more than 100 cows and some have over 1,000 cows.
Sixty years ago we had 30 full-time farmers in our village and many were employing staff. Today there are only nine.
I would like to us revert back to the 100 cow dairy herd, but as long as people shop in supermarkets and the government is not prepared to take any action against the retail giants that have formed a cartel, we have to accept the present trend.
We have to accept mega dairies in the UK or we are just leaving it open to France or Poland to crate large dairy units to supply our shops and the jobs that are entailed. With the world population predicted to double in the next 50 years can we rely that milk will be there to import?
The UK economy is in a serious mess and is not showing very real signs of improving. No- production jobs are being shed and the only way forward is to improve our industrial base which has been in decline for several decades.
Three quarters of Wales is rural and sparsely populated and the only real industry is agriculture. Given a level playing field, we have the land and climate and the farmers (at the moment) to increase production, reduce imports and employ many of the people that are now losing their jobs. Our farmers are known for their efficiency, as was proved during the Second World War and can compete with any nation in the world.
British agriculture employs 2.5% of the U K working population on the farm, but provides another 15% off the farm in the distribution and service industry, and any wealth produced by the sale of farm produce is spent in the area where it was produced, thereby boosting the rural economy and further jobs.
Many of those who criticise farmers do so with their mouths full of food, what will they be saying when their tummies are empty, which may not be far away?
Farming, like all other industries, creates some inconvenience to the community, but I am sure people will agree with me that the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.
Sir Eric Howells Meadow View, Llanddewi Velfrey.
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