A 2020 Vision of Rural England's Green Fields

Tasker, Johann
April 2003
Farmers Weekly;4/4/2003, Vol. 138 Issue 13, p7
Trade Publication
The idea that the countryside equals farming may be buried within 20 years, according to a Countryside Agency report of Great Britain, which forecasts a new rural economy barely recognisable to today's producers as of April 04, 2003. Food production will no longer dominate the English landscape in many regions, the report says. And there are already "serious questions" about whether planned funding levels are sufficient to manage the change, it warns. CAP reform and supermarket pressure will force farmers to be more competitive, the report says. For many, farming will be just one source of income. Smaller-scale farmers will add value or sell direct to local and niche markets. But even bigger farmers will have to be more consumer-focused. The State of the Countryside 2020 report, published on Wednesday (April 2, 2003) is the second Countryside Agency document within a week to question the importance of agriculture. The reports come as farm leaders prepare to launch a major offensive to highlight the contribution farming makes to the countryside.


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