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Secretary of State visits Wirral farmers to discuss their concerns
4:53pm Thursday 15th August 2013 in News
A GOVERNMENT minister visited Wirral today to meet local farmers and dicuss their concerns.
Owen Paterson, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, wanted to talk with them about issues facing dairy and livestock farmers.
The meeting was hosted by Tony Lavelle, a long-time farmer in West Kirby at Three Lanes End Farm.
Also attending was the area's Conservative MP Esther McVey, who said: "Farmers in Wirral West play a huge role both locally and nationally and are leading the way with innovative programmes particularly with dairy farming.
"I was delighted that the Secretary of State could take time out of his very busy schedule to come to the constituency and hear first-hand the concerns of local farmers."
Following the heavy snow at the start of this year, farmers across the country are still counting the cost of losing livestock and reduced yields.
National Countryside Week took place in July, aiming to raise awareness of the importance of the countryside to the UK and the “serious issues facing our rural communities”.
Speaking at its launch, Prince’s Countryside Fund trustee Lord Donald Curry said: “We’re facing a silent crisis in the countryside.
“One-in-four farming households are living in poverty.
“Livestock farmers are struggling with reduced herds that will have a knock-on effect for several seasons. Arable farmers are looking at a 30% reduction in crop yields.
“Farmers are seeing increased levels of indebtedness and the number of farmers quitting the profession is on the rise."
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