HC Deb 02 March 1971 vol 812 c1368
1. Captain Orr

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what proportion of total agricultural activity in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, respectively, is concerned with each of the following, namely, livestock, livestock products, cereals and horticultural products.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Mr. Anthony Stodart)

Since the reply contains a number of figures I will, with permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Captain Orr

Whilst I await the OFFICIAL REPORT with interest, will my hon. Friend confirm that at least the figures show the unique dependence of Northern Ireland agriculture upon livestock, and therefore, upon cereal imports? As diversification is almost impossible, what consideration is being given to this matter in the present E.E.C. negotiations?

Mr. Stodart

It is true, as my hon. and gallant Friend says, that livestock products form an extremely high proportion of agricultural activity in Northern Ireland—75 per cent. of all her output, second only to Wales. There is an awareness of the regional problems in the E.E.C. negotiations, and the Northern Ireland Government have made proposals for new schemes to help offset the higher food costs in Northern Ireland.

The information is as follows: