This week, CHRIS CARTER, writes our agriculture column, Word on the Ground.
I was entertained last week to read that Chris Grayling, a Government minister, declared that “we were going to have to be prepared to grow much more of our food” somehow implying that it is Government who do the growing, the thought of which makes me shudder. Later on, he declared that “farmers will need” to do the growing - which was a relief.
A couple of things troubled me, however, one of which was that Mr Grayling is a transport minister and as far as I am aware, his brief doesn’t currently include agriculture.
The debate was basically about how the UK would cope post Brexit and to date that is the 64,000 dollar question since no one actually knows.
What seems to be coming crystal clear is that Team EU appears determined to punish the UK for having the temerity to vote to leave.
I feel sure that the minister responsible for agriculture, Michael Gove, who seems a nice man even if he does come from Surrey, will even now have been bombarded with sundry communications from farmers welcoming his colleague’s announcement.
Farmers have been crying out for the chance to grow more food for years, but they do need to be freed from the shackles of unnecessary officialdom; they also need to have a full armoury of effective crop protection products all of which have been cleared for use by scientists not influenced by biased opinion formers.
Once profitable farming has been established then proper, meaningful environmental benefits will follow as sure as night is day.
• Members are advised that the National President of the NFU will be speaking about farming post Brexit, and other matters, at the AGM of the South Holland branch of the NFU on Wednesday October 25. Members of other branches are more than welcome to attend.