Just as millennials need affordable housing so do young farmers need county council-owned farms as a route into the industry.

For those who are not born into it, setting up in business as a farmer is a pipe dream for many because it has high up-front capital costs.

Farms traditionally pass down through the generations in a family so for young people without a background in the sector, county councils are often the only route to running their own farming business.

This incredible resource came about at the end of the 19th century as a means of giving the next generation a first foot on the farming ladder.

As it was then, it has endured as a way for the public sector to get fresh blood into the industry, by providing the land and buildings.

But those ladders are getting creaky, the rungs being peeled away one by one, because the number of council-owned county farms, including those here in Pembrokeshire, are in decline.

Figures published last year show that Wales lost around 5,000 acres of county council tenanted land over the last decade.

This means that future generations of young farmers won’t benefit from these assets as others once did.

In terms of local authority land ownership, Pembrokeshire is third down the list with 5,118 acres, behind Powys with 10,717 acres and Isle of Anglesey with 6,155 acres.

Carmarthenshire has just 3,445 acres committed to county council farms.

There is no question that we need more young people in farming. Wales could be on the verge of a farming crisis unless more are inspired to enter the industry and given opportunities because only 3% of our farmers are under 35 in a country where 88% of the land is used for agriculture.

The average farmer age of farmers remains stubbornly high.

If more county council farms are sold off, that will mean yet fewer opportunities for the next generation.

The sell-offs have essentially been driven by government cuts to local authority budgets but enough is enough. It’s time to call a halt to this retrograde approach.