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Volume 656: debated on Monday 19 March 1962

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asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food to what extent the home production of the main items of food has increased since 1951; and what has been the overall increase in the net output of British agriculture since then.

Over this period there have been substantial increases in the production of nearly all farm products. The overall increase in agricultural net output between 1951–52 and 1961–62 was 23 per cent. The United Kingdom figures for individual products are given in the following table:

Increase (+) or decrease (−) in agricultural production between 1951–52 and 1961–62 Per cent.
Wheat+ 11
Barley+ 157
Potatoes− 25
Sugar Beet+ 31
Beef and veal+ 40
Mutton and lamb+ 82
Pigmeat+ 57
Poultry meat+ 284
Eggs+ 63
Milk and milk products+ 28
Horticultural crops+ 10

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he is satisfied with the progress which is being made in Great Britain in the field of intensive food production both as regards poultry, veal, beef and pigs, and as regards horticulture; and what steps he proposes to take in the near future to ensure that Great Britain remains adequately competitive therein.

I welcome any steps taken by farmers and growers to improve the competitiveness of their products but it is for producers themselves to decide upon the use of one system of production as against another. The assistance of my Department's advisory services is available to all farmers and growers, no matter what their system of production.