The Conservative candidate for the new look Ceredigion seat at the upcoming UK elections wants teens pulled into a new National Service to work the land as farmers.

Aled Thomas, who is a young farmer and qualified agronomist, has urged the Home Secretary to include food and farming in the list of volunteering activities which would be required under the new National Service scheme if the Conservatives win the election and the plan goes ahead.

The plan, launched by Conservative leader Rishi Sunak at the beginning of campaigning ahead of July’s elections, would see 18-year-olds given the choice of a full-time military placement for 12 months, or a scheme to volunteer for one weekend a month for a year.

Announced in a bid to try and bridge the growing polling gap as the Conservatives trail far behind Labour in polling, the move has faced fierce criticism and ridicule, including those within the party.

Ceredigion Preseli’s Conservative candidate Mr Thomas, however, said that “the morning after the scheme announcement, I spoke directly with the Home Secretary James Cleverley, urging him to include voluntary work on farms or in the food production sector as part of the new policy.”

He added: “It’s increasingly concerning how little Wales’ children know about agricultural food production, compounded by the introduction of the damaging new curriculum for Wales.”

“Including food and farming as part of national service would mean that the next generation of children will have a chance to know how bread is made, where their fruit and vegetables comes from or even what goes into making a pint of milk.”

Under the plan, due to be fully in place by 2029-30 if Mr Sunak wins the election, all 18-year-olds will be legally required to take up either a 12-month placement in the Armed Forces or cyber defence - or give up the equivalent of one weekend a month to volunteer in their communities.

The move is estimated to cost £2.5bn.

Mr Sunak said the scheme would promote a "shared sense of purpose among our young people and a renewed sense of pride in our country".