June 8 2013

Agriculture alert
The government has set up The Future of Farming group to look at how new blood can be encouraged into the farming sector
Sir, As a chartered surveyor working in the “rural outpost” of Powys, I am all too aware of farmers’ falling numbers (“How British workers left the land to sow careers in services sector”, June 6). The industry requires 60,000 new entrants over the next ten years and with the competing attractiveness of service sector careers, the government has set up The Future of Farming group to look at how new blood can be encouraged into the sector. Agriculture is a primary industry that underpins society through a complex interrelationship of food production, provision of landscape, biodiversity habitat (or lack of) and recently identified public goods (ecosystem services) from the land. The stakes are high, with increasing food prices, declining biodiversity and a real need to produce more from less while reducing the impact on the environment. Farming is the new challenge for our next generation. Rob Yorke Abergavenny, Monmouthshire