Examination of Witnesses

Part of Agriculture Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 2:46 pm on 25th October 2018.

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Photo of Kerry McCarthy Kerry McCarthy Labour, Bristol East 2:46 pm, 25th October 2018

I should say that I am the chair of the all-party parliamentary group on agro-ecology and I tabled the amendment on moving to a more agro-ecological approach that Ed mentioned.Q

The briefing from the Landworkers Alliance was very useful, particularly the paragraph stating what France has done to move towards a more agro-ecological approach, but I want to ask about the economics. I think agro-ecology is sometimes perceived as being just about caring about the environment, and not about improving farming productivity. Could you say something about the fact that there may be fewer inputs? We heard some evidence—I cannot remember if it was in this Committee or in the EFRA Committee, which is also looking at the Bill—about how taking some of the land out of production and using it to increase biodiversity, through pollinators and that sort of thing, can increase food yields. Is that just nice to have or could it make farming more productive?