§ Mr. Hawkins
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will take steps to encourage the implementation of the recommendation of the Northfield report that pension funds should let their farms instead of farming their land themselves, so as to enable more small and medium-sized family farm businesses to be set up.
§ Mrs. Fenner
We endorse the view that was expressed in the Northfield report, that the primary role of the financial institutions should be as long term investors in let land and not as farmers. In practice, the financial institutions as a whole, including pension funds, own only some 1.2 per cent. of agricultural land and the evidence that was submitted to the Northfield committee indicated that about 80 per cent. of this was let.