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FUW highlights importance of family farms

Created on 11/04/2011 @ 13:56
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The next Welsh Assembly Government and its AMs were urged to recognise the key role family farms can play in tackling the major challenges of our age when the Farmers' Union of Wales launched its election manifesto.
The manifesto "Farming For All Our Futures" has been posted on the FUW's website and published in an eight-page bilingual supplement of the April edition of the union's monthly newspaper Y Tir/Welsh Farmer which is distributed to all members.
The manifesto - which includes sections on the Common Agricultural Policy, red tape and bureaucracy, bovine TB, local procurement, the rural economy, rural broadband, the environment, and more powers for Wales - can also be found on Y Tir/Welsh Farmer's website
Revealing the manifesto document, FUW president Gareth Vaughan told the union's finance and organisation committee, meeting in Aberystwyth today, that after the May 5 election the incoming AMs and Government will be faced with tackling a host of challenges - many unprecedented - with a significantly reduced budget.
With the world’s population estimated to rise to nine or ten billion by 2050 and global agricultural productivity facing major challenges, he said, their policies must ensure we are prepared for the imminent challenges global warming, rising sea levels and peak oil production levels represent in terms of food security.
"The FUW believes that ensuring a vibrant and prosperous farming industry is pivotal to addressing these issues, and that at the centre of the picture lies a key entity which is often overlooked and undervalued, namely the family farm.
"Compared with other regions, I believe that Wales has genuinely benefited from successive administrations which recognise the importance of agriculture to our economy, landscape and culture.
"However, if Wales is to rise to these new challenges, our politicians must resist the temptation to introduce short-sighted policies which undermine the family farm, and those politicians who ignore the family farm do so at our peril."
Advances in the devolution process mean that those elected to the Assembly have significant control over Welsh agriculture and have a duty to lobby those at higher levels of government for what is best for Wales, Mr Vaughan added.
"The FUW’s concerns and aspirations regarding the most significant of these issues are highlighted in this manifesto.
"The FUW is not affiliated to any political party and, therefore, has a duty to work with the government of the day and the opposition parties, irrespective of their political persuasions.
"For the period of the next National Assembly and beyond the FUW is committed to lobbying all those in Cardiff to ensure that agriculture and family farms receive the attention and respect that they warrant - for the sake of all our futures."
PICTURE: A picture of Gareth Vaughan holding the Welsh and English versions of the manifesto is attached.
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