Plans to deliver a better, fairer farming system in England have been set out by government today Monday, Nov. 30, 2020
The UK government published an agricultural shake-up for English farmers, which will see direct payments replaced with a scheme that rewards them for environmental goods.
The roadmap outlines changes that will come into force over a period of seven years to help farmers adapt and plan for the future.
The key changes include:
-Introducing the Environmental Land Management scheme to incentivise sustainable farming practices, create habitats for nature recovery and establish new woodland to help tackle climate change.
-Investing in improving animal health and welfare as part of our sustainable farming approach. This will initially focus on controlling or eradicating endemic diseases amongst cattle, pigs and sheep .
-Direct Payments will be reduced fairly, starting from the 2021 Basic Payment Scheme year. The money released will be used to fund new grants and schemes to boost farmers’ productivity and reward environmental improvements.
-Launching a Farming Investment Fund, which will support innovation and productivity. This will open for applications next year and will be used to offer grants for equipment, technology and infrastructure for the future.
-Simplifying and improving existing schemes and their application processes further from January 2021 to reduce the burden on farmers.
While the government is still working on its own scheme to support farmers, ministers want to push ahead with cuts to direct payments from 2021.
The plans mean the UK will shift away from the £3bn ($4bn) Common Agricultural Policy, which was considered inefficient by farming groups and blamed for encouraging poor environmental practices.
The new roadmap comes a few weeks after the government’s landmark Agriculture Bill passed into law, providing the powers needed to incentivise farmers to make the right environmental choices and help them to make the most of the opportunities available outside of the EU.