More than 90 per cent of respondents anticipate a spike in demand for farming support organisations over the next five years, a new survey by the Farming Community Network (FCN) has revealed.
With Covid-19 presenting unprecedented challenges for farmers across the UK, 48 per cent out of 160 surveyed farmers, agricultural businesses and members of the public, said services provided by charity organisations will increase, while 44 per cent warned the need will increase significantly.
The survey also found that while 55 per cent were optimistic about the future of farming in their area, significant concerns continued to exist around financial stability, mental wellbeing, succession and retirement and managing change.
Jude McCann, chief executive of FCN, highlighted the survey provided a vital insight into the anxieties which surrounded the future of British farming.
“The farming industry is experiencing a period of radical change and whilst there will be opportunities for many, farmers will need to work hard to future-proof their businesses and protect their livelihoods,” he said.
“2020 has already seen a significant number of challenges, not least disruption caused by Covid-19, and the sector’s future is uncertain as the UK leaves the EU.”
Pointing to the need for farmers to remain ‘resilient’ during these challenging times, Mr McCann added: “For some this may mean diversifying their farming businesses and others may decide to plan for retirement, succession or exiting the industry.
“But [this survey] has demonstrated the increasing demand for farming organisations and it is important to remember the FCN, alongside other rural charities, are here to provide guidance and support to farmers through the challenges ahead.”
To see the full survey results, click here.
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