Breaking a taboo in the conservative world of French agriculture, Gallic version of Farmer Wants a Wife to feature first gay candidate.

The French version of reality show Farmer Wants a Wife is to feature its 1st gay candidate, breaking a taboo in the largely conservative, patriarchal world of Gallic agriculture.”Guillaume”, 31-year old sheep farmer from the Auvergne region of central France…

“Guillaume”, 31-year old sheep farmer from the Auvergne region of central France referred to in the show by only his first name is among 11 men and three women looking for love in the French version of the show, whose title is the less gender-biased L’Amour est dans le Pré (Love is in the Prairie).

Research suggest farmers have a tendency to be more conservative and classic that the French as a entire. A 2007 Cevipov poll showed that 47 per cent of French farmers found homosexuality “unacceptable” compared to 21 per cent of the rest of the population.

He is the first gay candidate among more than 100 who have appeared on the programme in the past nine years on terrestrial channel M6.

Guillaume took over the family business when his father died last year.

Two years ago, presenter Karine Le Marchand said she would have “loved” to have a gay farmer in the cast but that the lack of candidates suggested that “the cameras don’t only spark good will” – suggesting the country was not ready for it.

That was when France was in the throes of a heated national debate over legalising gay marriage, which includes mass demonstrations against the law, which was nonetheless passed.

Thousands of gay-couples have tied the knot in France since the same-sex unions became legal in May last year, new figures show. Since May 2012 7,000 gay couples were wed – around three percent of the total number of marriages in France.

However although France has taken the historic step of legalising gay marriage it appears the landmark social reform came at a cost. The number of reported homophobic acts increased in 2013 by a staggering 78 percent, according to a watchdog group.