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Tenancy Reform Industry Group to seek solutions in recession-battered landscape.

LANDOWNERS are taking part in a nationwide probe aimed at helping tenant farmers create new enterprises and jobs to replace livelihoods destroyed by chronic agricultural recession.

The reinstatement of the Tenancy Reform Industry Group (TRIG) - an industry-wide initiative which will tackle the need for tenancy reform where it is found that certain aspects of current legislation might be presenting obstacles to the diversification of farm businesses occupying let land and buildings - is being backed by the Country Land and Business Association (CLA).

The revival of TRIG follows talks between the CLA, the National Farmers Union, the Tenant Farmers Association and the Government.

``We know that tenants have suffered as much or more than other farmers as a result of the serious decline in agricultural incomes. So we are delighted that Ministers have approved our proposal to address concerns expressed by the TFA and NFU about tenancy issues on an industry-wide basis,'' said South and West Wales CLA regional director, Jonathan Andrews.

``While current tenancy legislation is not normally a barrier to rural enterprise, the CLA recognises that there are some prob-lems. These are usually resolved by taking a partnership approach, as both tenant and landlord benefit from good quality diversification. We have raised concerns that current tax law can create disincentives to both diversification and longer-term tenancies. At the same time, many tenants have expressed doubts about entering into long tenancies.'' Mr Andrews added, ``The key concern of tenancy legislation should be to ensure that there are a range of options for landlords and tenants to agree, including farm business tenancies, contract farming and share farming. The Government should not seek to be prescriptive on the outcomes.''
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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Aug 20, 2002
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