Productivity is most misinterpreted word of our time, NFU deputy president Minette Batters tells Suffolk farmers

AGM of Suffolk branch of National Farmers Union at Cedars Hotel, Stowmarket. Pictured is NFU Deputy

AGM of Suffolk branch of National Farmers Union at Cedars Hotel, Stowmarket. Pictured is NFU Deputy President Minette Batters. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Productivity is the most misinterpreted word of our time, a farmers’ leader told Suffolk farmers this week.

Speaking before the annual general meeting of the Suffolk branch of the National Farmers’ Union (NFU), NFU deputy president Minette Batters explained the problem.

“It’s not about producing more - it’s about smart farming,” she said. “It’s been about investing in technology and investing in infrastructure.”

She added: “Can we make a case for the Budget? Without doubt we can.” The NFU is lobbying for a “framework for success” for farming post-Brexit, including measures to help farm productivity. The UK’s productivity levels as a whole are at or below pre-2008 credit crunch levels. The UK’s farming productivity gap compared to other developed countries is widening, with under-investment in publicly funded research, lower levels of private sector research and lower rates of adoption of innovations all cited.