Examination of Witnesses

Part of Agriculture Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 3:25 pm on 11th February 2020.

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Jim Egan:

I think it can be achieved. The current example of facilitation funds in cluster groups is an absolute classic for that type of farming. I think that there is a facilitation fund in your constituency; there is certainly one not far away. Those farmers could come together. I am not a believer in “one farm, one advice”. If there are six people who farm together with smaller farming units who want to go into a scheme, and will achieve better environmental outputs if they all work together, we can give one set of advice to all of them.

We need to think really differently about where we are going now. It is not just about one-to-one advice; it is about one-to-six advice. It is about, when you put the scheme together, providing the training to those six to implement the measures. I think that it is completely affordable, and it works. We just need to think differently about how we put these things together.