But the NFU said that , while the creation of LEPs is good news, it hopes they will take into account the "vital contribution" that agriculture can make to the economic recovery, particularly in rural areas.
NFU head of policy services Andrew Clark said: "As the first batch of Local Enterprise Partnerships gets the go ahead from Government, the NFU has welcomed the new partnerships but called on them to engage more closely with agriculture and rural business.
"Along with other business representatives, we asked for the partnerships to be business-driven. The good news is that it looks like that’s what we’ve got with the LEPs approved so far.
"However, reading through the initial proposals, it is apparent that farming and food are recognised as key sectors by only a handful of LEPs. Considering that farming generates some £7.1billion in gross value added terms to the UK economy, while agricultural raw materials literally feed the UK food and drink industry, it is disappointing that agri-food and rural issues are ignored in many proposals.
"Agriculture can make a vital contribution to the economic recovery, especially in rural areas. Farming has multiple outputs beyond simply food: renewable energy, environmental services, rural employment and an accessible countryside. We expect that these LEPs will want to work with the tens of thousands of rural businesses involved in farming.
"The green light for the first batch of LEPs is just the start of the process and further clarity on the role and reach of partnerships is expected from Government.
"Our members recognise the long-term potential in farming. After all, the industry has £200bn invested in its assets. But we need the right support and impetus, and we hope that LEPs will be in a position to offer that support."