A CRITICAL shortage of women which threatens the future of rural communities has reached crisis point in some areas.
Young women are increasingly choosing a city lifestyle over family farms and a lack of job opportunities is compounding the problem, Adelaide Now reports.
The issue has left men in some rural areas with little hope of finding a partner and one remote community is taking matters into its own hands.
A busload of Adelaide women has been organised to attend a "Wirrulla Wants a Wife" festival next month.
With a town population of just 60, farmers in the West Coast region have been hard hit by a shortage of women.
Many of the area's young women moved away for work and study and never returned.
South Australian Farmers Federation president Peter White said this was a growing issue across the state.
"We've got to try to provide some employment and some attractions to keep those girls in the country," he said.
"And it is not just that prospect of finding a future wife.
"Because of the drought we actually saw some real social issues where the wife said: 'I've stuck by you through this drought, it has been absolutely horrific, I am not going to put up with it anymore, it's me or the farm and I am shifting back to Adelaide'.
"We've seen a number of issues like that. It is a real social issue and there is quite an imbalance out there."
Social commentator David Chalke says about 70 per cent of Australians live in capital cities and 20 per cent in major regional centres, leaving 10 per cent of the nation's population across smaller towns.
Ms Baldock, 45, and her friend Karen Agars, 43, came up with the idea for Wirrulla Wants a Wife - which will run across the March long weekend - after watching TV series Farmer Wants A Wife.
Already 35 farmers across the Eyre Peninsula have registered but co-organiser Ang Baldock hopes more women will get behind the event, which will see a busload of single females driven to Eyre Peninsula for the weekend,with a tour of Smoky Bay, a Saturday night outdoor party and a walk-through of life on the farm at a shearing shed.
"The girls, they go away to school and never come back again ... we have a lot of farmers around who find it hard to get a wife," Ms Baldock said.
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