A Farmers Union of Wales survey of businesses attending the weekend’s Royal Welsh Spring Festival found that over two-thirds of respondents are reliant on farming for their survival.
“We know that a lot of second and third sector businesses are already struggling as a result of the knock on impact of low agricultural incomes and farmgate prices, and this snapshot survey confirms the potential wider impact if there was to be a further downturn in farm incomes,” said FUW deputy president, Brian Thomas.
“We must remember that agriculture is the powerhouse of the rural economy, generates billions of pounds which benefit a host of industries including many not directly associated with agriculture,” he added.
Over 70 per cent of those surveyed said their business was the main source of income.
More than a quarter said they employed more than 10 people, with some employing in excess of 50 people, and just under two-thirds employed up to 10 people.
“The impact of the most recent recession on our economy as a whole has been severe, but there can be no doubt that in rural Britain and many of our urban areas the impact has been buffered by the core role agriculture has played in generating income for communities the length and breadth of the UK,” added Mr Thomas.