Lib Dem MP Helen Morgan has called for extra support as farmers attempt to cope with a cost-of-doing-business crisis.
The MP for North Shropshire also warned about impact on farmers’ mental health, emphasising “that there’s a human cost as well as a financial one for those working hard to keep Britain fed”.
Speaking during a debate in Parliament, Ms Morgan said: “For our farmers, this isn’t really a cost-of-living crisis, this is a cost-of-doing-business crisis. They’ve told me that rocketing input costs are risking the businesses literally going out of business.”
She told MPs that while there are global issues, the government is not doing enough to mitigate their impact. Meanwhile charities such as Shropshire Rural Support are attempting to fill the void as already-isolated people seek financial help.
Ms Morgan continued: “The nail in the coffin for many of our farmers is the manner in which the Basic Farm Payment has been phased out before its replacement is ready to roll, this Agricultural Transition Plan.”
“At a time when food security can no longer be taken for granted, the Government’s broken promise to maintain their historic levels of support for this period of transition is putting the farming sector at a high level of risk.”
Ms Morgan also called for a new strategy to deal with labour shortages affecting harvesting and processing, saying: “Farmers need confidence for the future, not just to plant next year’s crop, but to invest for greater productivity.”