What price advice?

Date of publication: June 15, 1987

Author: Christine Ward


This paper will describe how a sector within the British agricultural industry has been required to adjust to the political and economic problems in agricultural production prevalent in the 1980's. During the Second World War and in subsequent decades, British farmers were encouraged to maximise productivity and, as an extension of this policy a free advisory service, known as the Agricultural Development Advisory Service (ADAS) was set up in England and Wales. Over this same period, plant and animal breeders, together with agrochemical and pharmaceutical manufacturers, further enhanced the industry's output and efficiency. In 1984 Professor Bell, the Director General of ADAS was asked to examine the role of the service and make recommendations as to its future operation. Consequently, Government policy determined that a substantial sum of the cost of running ADAS should be met by introducing charges for advisory work. Thus, after more than forty years of free information and advice, the British farmer would be expected to pay a commercial rate for this service.

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