Home » Agriculture drives the rural economy

Agriculture drives the rural economy

Farmers are the axis around which the rural economy turns: Stephen James, NFU
Farmers are the axis around which the rural economy turns: Stephen James, NFU

THE ROLE that farmers play in supporting rural businesses is something often forgotten or overlooked by some politicians and decision makers, and that’s why NFU Cymru has today enlisted the support of one Ceredigion farmer to provide an illustration of the impact that agriculture has on the wider rural economy.

Stephen James, NFU Cymru President, said: “As well as producing food, farmers support a wide and diverse range of rural businesses, which in turn provide work and opportunities for local people. Over 60 local businesses have been invited to Huw Davies, NFU Cymru Ceredigion Chairman’s farm today. Huw purchases goods or services from each and every business invited, and this just goes to show how the money that farmers receive via the single farm payment cascades through the wider rural economy.”

Companies represented at the farm include the most obvious: the local vet, feed merchants, contractors to do fencing, cut silage and hedging; as well as the less obvious like, NFU Mutual, NFU Cymru, a solicitor, an accountant, electricians and builders – to name but a few.

Stephen continued, “Farms and farmers are therefore the axis around which rural communities often turn, and much of what happens in our rural areas happens thanks to the goodwill, involvement and support of the farming community. Agriculture is one of the key drivers of the rural economy, doing most of their spending within a short distance of the farm.”

“When you think about the number of people that each of the businesses represented here today employs, and their contribution to the wider rural economy, then you have an extremely powerful illustration,” Mr James concluded.

Huw Davies, who hosted the visit on his farm, Trefaes Fawr, Beulah Newcastle Emlyn, thanked everyone for coming along and their support to his farm business. Trefaes Fawr is approximately 800 acres. Huw finishes approximately 300 cattle over the course of a year and has 1,500 ewes, he also has a holiday let that sleeps 12.