Prince's grant will help isolated Cornish farmers
A COMMUNITY interest company (CIC) that supports farmers in Cornwall with information, training and business advice has received a grant from The Prince’s Countryside Fund.
Farm Cornwall CIC, based in Penzance, has been granted £48,000 to help in its ongoing work serving small family farms in Cornwall, providing crisis support, farm training, computer training and debt management. At least 200 farmers will be supported.
Edward Richardson, farm adviser at Farm Cornwall, said isolation was one of the problems facing Cornish farmers.
“It is 75 miles to the Devon border from Land’s End and then another hour by car to Exeter.
“If farmers want to attend an event elsewhere in the country then it takes up a lot of time they can’t afford to give. We can then go on their behalf and disseminate information to the farmers,” he said.
Mr Richardson said that of the 400 farms on their books, many were small dairy farms of 50 to 250 cows, and often one person operations.
Help with the business side of the farms was therefore very useful, while farmers were able to concentrate on the farming side.
“We also help with crisis issues, such as death, divorce and ill-health. We are a free service and work on a confidential basis, so people will turn to us to help with financial issues. It may take years to turn a farm around but we are not constrained by time, and the farmers don’t have to worry about the cost of their support,” he said.
“We can also help with supporting those caring for family members and with acquiring grant aid. We can act as a hub for farmers who want to buy or sell barley or silage, and also for labour,” he said.
The grant is among a series from The Prince’s Countryside Fund that saw the allocation of £560,000 of funds towards training, rural communities, low income farms and to help combat rural isolation.
Victoria Harris, director of The Prince’s Countryside Fund, said dealing with rural isolation was one of the pillars of the charity’s work.
“Farm Cornwall does invaluable work in a part of the country where farmers can be isolated, and face financial problems,” she said.
For more information on Farm Cornwall call 01736 352012 or visit www.farmcornwall.co.uk