Agriculture and Horticulture
Agricultural land on the manhood is mainly Grade I and Grade II, among the best arable land in the country. Farms in the area have an average size of about 625 acres. The National Farmers Union estimates that an arable farm needs to be about 400 acres or more to be profitable. However, increasing drainage problems is resulting in difficulties for farmers and this is likely to worsen with climate change. In addition, farmland nearer to the coast will probably face increasing salination due to water inundation. Three farms have recently been acquired by the Environment Agency for the Medmerry managed realignment scheme.
Horticulture is a growing industry on the coastal plain, due to its long hours of sunshine. Several large glasshouse complexes have been built in recent years using advanced technology located east of Chichester. The Manhood Peninsula has many smaller, less-economically viable glasshouse developments as a result of land-settlement initiatives undertaken after WWII. However, poor road infrastructure and drainage makes development of large commercial glasshouses on the peninsula impractical.
Both the horticultural and agricultural industries play a major part in defining the area’s landscape and, therefore, impact upon the area’s other main economic provider – tourism and recreation.
Have a look at the Sustainability Links section of the website to find out more about local produce and sustainability issues.