Farmer sells up to head for Africa

PUBLISHED: 07:09 15 June 2006 | UPDATED: 09:27 24 May 2010

Paul Bateman is selling off his herd and going to The Gambia.

Paul Bateman is selling off his herd and going to The Gambia.

A FED-UP farmer is planning to sell up and move half-way across the world because he has had enough of the British beef industry. Paul Bateman has vowed to exchange his West Hay farm in Banwell for the West African country of The Gambia in a bid to start

A FED-UP farmer is planning to sell up and move half-way across the world because he has had enough of the British beef industry. Paul Bateman has vowed to exchange his West Hay farm in Banwell for the West African country of The Gambia in a bid to start a new life for him and his family.The 43-year-old farmer says he intends to sell off his herd of 70 cattle and settle in the tiny tropical country.He says he could move out there this summer and arrange for his wife and 12-year-old son Edward to join him later.Paul is no stranger to The Gambia after establishing links with the town of Kunkujang about four years ago.He and his 41-year-old wife, Sam, raised £11,000 to send a Belarus 90 tractor out to the 1,500-strong community last year.Paul is currently the driving force behind the Kunkujang Tractor Aid Fund. He has donated a second tractor to the fund and is currently raising cash to send it to Africa.The former parish councillor and governor of Banwell Primary School travelled to The Gambia in April to see how the tractor and other farming equipment sent over had helped local people.He found the tractor is making a massive difference to Kunkujang farmers and generating cash for the community by being hired out to neighbouring villages.This money has been used to build an extension to Kunkujang's school.Paul hit national headlines earlier this year when he threatened to take Government minister Margaret Beckett to court for delays in farming subsidy payouts.He said: "I do not want to make a pile of money but at the moment there is no money in our own farming. In fact, we are actually losing money."The Gambian government is trying to update its farming so I am trying to organise people who can go to the country to advise them."I want to set up a business there and really help the community."It will be an amazing challenge and I am feeling both excited and apprehensive."Gambians have an amazing sense of community and they appreciate and respect farmers, unlike in the UK."Anybody who would like to contribute to the Kunkujang Tractor Fund can contact Paul Bateman on 01934 820534 or via e-mail on office@kentplant.co.uk

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