ENCOURAGING farmers not to farm is no way to reinvigorate agriculture – and Alan Sugar’s sidekick Nick Hewer should know better.
Mr Hewer is the front man for a new TV series that will see him appear as a troubleshooter helping farmers find new ways of making money.
Called The Farm Fixer, the BBC Two programme will see the Apprentice star help farmers develop new products, create brands and find customers.
“I wanted to use everything I had learnt, over the past 40 years of business, to help them come through this difficult time,” he says.
So far so good. After all, what could be better than highlighting the harsh realities of farm life to a viewing public largely disconnected from the countryside?
But wait a minute: just how will Mr Hewer go about “fixing” farms?
According to the BBC, his business ideas so far include harvesting seaweed, brewing beer, producing flavoured pet water and entertaining cruise ship groups.
So nothing much to do with actual farming, then.
This is more like encouraging Alan Sugar to make money from selling computers by telling him to give up and sell something else instead.
Suggesting that the challenges faced by farmers can be solved by parachuting in a celebrity merely trivialises agriculture – and misleads the public.
Doubtless supporters will commend this new programme as a light-hearted way of introducing agriculture to a non-farming public.
But whatever next?
How about The Euro Fixer – Nick Hewer fixes the Eurocrisis for people who aren’t really interested in economics?
I’ll bet now that this new show will be simplistic and patronising rather than even a semi-serious attempt to solve the challenges faced by farmers.
And I look forward to watching it only in the hope of being proved wrong.