NFU man tells Norfolk farmers of need to grow more food

Farming's productivity must increase sharply to continue feeding the nation, said farmers' leader Meurig Raymond."We are 62pc self-sufficient in food production and that has dropped over the last years from 70pc," he told farmers, officials and conservation groups at Hall Farm.

Farming's productivity must increase sharply to continue feeding the nation, said farmers' leader Meurig Raymond.

"We are 62pc self-sufficient in food production and that has dropped over the last years from 70pc," he told farmers, officials and conservation groups at Hall Farm.

Mr Raymond, NFU deputy presi-dent said that farmers had to respond to the challenge. The UK's population could to increase from 62m to 71m by 2025, he said. "If we do not increase the productivity of British agriculture in the next 15 years, we will easily see self-sufficiency levels fall to 50pc. I would suggest that in the dire consequences of the economic situation that UK Ltd and society cannot afford to be only 50pc self-sufficient in food."

The NFU had produce a Why Farming Matters policy document four years ago. "It highlighted the importance of farming from an economic and land management perspective and the need to produce more food. Our great industry, farming, is going to have to become more productive as the years pass."


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Earlier Broadland farmer Richard Hirst had welcomed visitors to Beckhithe Farms, which was run by Barry Brooks and Gary Gray, who were award-winning beef farmers.

"Why Farming Matters in the Broads? A couple of years ago the EDP reported Natural England's plans, which would have let large swathes of Norfolk would be flooded.

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"My farm at Ormesby would have become a marina and I think we would have the sea up to our front door. Thousands of acres of produc-tive marshes producing high-quality food crops from animals to cropping would have gone under water."

The NFU has researched this report to demonstrate the importance of the Broads.

"It shows the link between farming, environment, climate change, tourism, and if any one of those links break, then potentially we lose the whole thing," he added.

The report will be on the NFU's stand at the Royal Norfolk Show.

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