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LETTERS: Does Michael Gove understand farming?

I wonder how many farmers heard the interview with Michael Gove on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme last Thursday (January 11)?

He described agricultural subsidy introduced by the EU via the Common Agricultural Policy as a payment to the wealthy which made them even more wealthy.

 

You could hear the sighs of disbelief from farmers around the country, many of whom had probably been working for two to three hours before the programme was broadcast at about 8am.

 

Does this man really know what goes on in the uplands, the milking parlours, the greenhouses, packing sheds and other farming enterprises around the country, where the subsidy is vital to maintain the viability of those businesses and keep food prices low?

 

Mr Gove has mentioned on a number of occasions he wants value for the taxpayer, yet the taxpayer already has phenomenal value for money in low food prices in this country.


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Anyone who has been on a self-catering holiday in Europe will know the difference.

 

Also, let us not forget subsidies were introduced to help provide cheap food and the current system, albeit with anomalies which can be easily corrected, is a very simple and effective means of achieving the objective.

The environment is a separate issue and should not be linked to farming alone.

 

Urbanisation, ever increasing numbers of motor vehicles, mountains of plastic and other waste, domestic and industrial appliances using detergents, plus numerous other activities, contribute far more to the erosion of the environment than farming.

 

John Tyson, High Lorton, Cockermouth, Cumbria.

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