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Local farmers earn less than half national average

October 21, 2009 12:00 AM

Farmers in Cumbria are earning 50% less than the average farmer in England according to figures uncovered by Shadow Defra Secretary Tim Farron.

A parliamentary question tabled by Mr Farron revealed that the net farm income for the average farmer in England is recorded at £38,600 compared to just £17,800 in Cumbria.

The figures also revealed that there was just a £700 difference in 1997 between the incomes of an average farmer in England compared with one in Cumbria. Mr Farron believes the figures highlight Labour's disregard to the uplands and has called on more support to be given to Cumbria's hill farmers.

Commenting Mr Farron said:

"These figures show just how badly Labour has treated the uplands. When they came to power, a farmer in Cumbria was making roughly the same as a farmer anywhere else in England. Now it's a completely different story.

"The fact that farmers in Cumbria are earning less than half of what farmers in other parts of the country are making shows just why upland farmers need extra financial support.

"Hill farmers are vital to the well-being of their local communities and the management of our environment, yet they remain unappreciated and unrewarded by the market.

"Investing more money into the Upland Entry Level Stewardship scheme will ensure hill farmers are rewarded for their role as stewards of the countryside."