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Farmers And Farm Workers

Volume 169: debated on Tuesday 13 March 1990

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To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what assessment he has made of the reasons for the decline in the number of farmers and farm workers in Britain in 1989; and if he will make a statement.

[holding answer 9 March 1990]: The decline in the numbers of farmers and farm workers in 1989 reflects a continuation of a long-standing trend resulting from a range of factors—for example, continuing increases in labour productivity and technological development, the increased success of the European Community in tackling the problems of the CAP and, more recently, the need for tight financial disciplines throughout the economy as a whole. We shall, however, have to await the results of the June 1990 census before it will be possible to assess fully the extent of the decline in 1989.