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Minister preparing the way for the future, by helping farmers diversify 4 May 2007

Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Minister Phil Gawne has recently released a consultation document seeking to significantly broaden the Department’s view of an agricultural business, reflecting the changing face of Manx Agriculture.

The Minister explained “I believe we need to modernise our approach. The Department has previously focused all financial support into traditional farms, with a very tight definition of what farming is. The proposed definition would acknowledge that many farmers either have, or are considering, some form of diversification and that this is now part of business as usual for the modern farming enterprise.”

The Minister added “It is crucial that farmers know they will not risk losing their agricultural support as a result of minor diversification and equally that we find ways of encouraging and supporting them in their efforts, as these initiatives can often introduce vital cash to the business.”

In closing, the Minister said “The proposal reflects the Department’s desire to rejuvenate the industry by helping our farmers to move their business in new directions and reducing the constraints that our support may place on their efforts.”

Copies of the consultation document can be obtained from Rose House or by telephoning 685838.

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