By Acreage Rural & The Rural Post
Farming has always been an integral part of the British economy, contributing significantly to the country’s GDP and providing jobs to millions of people. With a strong agricultural sector, the UK has been able to achieve food security and self-sufficiency, while also exporting its produce to other countries. In this blog, we will discuss how farming in Britain is good for the British economy.
Contribution to GDP –
According to the latest figures from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), agriculture contributed £9.9 billion to the UK economy in 2020. This figure takes into account the value of farming production, as well as ancillary services such as food processing, transportation, and retailing. The sector employs over 400,000 people directly, and many more indirectly, making it an important source of employment.
Food security and self-sufficiency –
Farming in Britain helps to ensure the country’s food security and self-sufficiency. The UK produces about 60% of the food it consumes, with the rest being imported. However, with Brexit and the uncertainties surrounding global trade, there has been renewed emphasis on supporting domestic agriculture. By producing more food locally, the UK can reduce its reliance on imports, which would not only boost the economy but also make it more resilient to external shocks.
Environmental benefits –
Farming in Britain is also good for the environment. The sector accounts for around 10% of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions, but farmers are increasingly adopting sustainable practices to reduce their carbon footprint. Many farmers are also involved in conservation projects, such as restoring hedgerows and creating new habitats for wildlife, which helps to enhance biodiversity. Moreover, by producing food locally, the UK can reduce its carbon emissions from transportation, further contributing to the fight against climate change.
Export opportunities –
The UK’s farming sector is also an important source of export revenue. In 2020, the country exported over £20 billion worth of agricultural and food products, with the top markets being Ireland, France, and the United States. British produce, such as beef, lamb, and cheese, is highly regarded for its quality and safety standards, making it attractive to overseas buyers. By boosting exports, the UK can create jobs and generate income, which in turn will benefit the wider economy.
Farming in Britain is an important sector of the economy, contributing significantly to GDP, employment, and exports. It also plays a vital role in ensuring food security and self-sufficiency, while helping to protect the environment. By supporting the farming sector, the UK can create a more resilient and sustainable economy, which benefits everyone.