Investment Returns: Agriculture

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 8th March 2017.

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Photo of Jim Fitzpatrick Jim Fitzpatrick Labour, Poplar and Limehouse

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate her Department has made of the return to the UK taxpayer of each £1 invested in UK Farming.

Photo of George Eustice George Eustice The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UK taxpayers support the agricultural sector in variety of ways: through the EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), spending on agricultural research and development, including the Agri-tech Strategy, and indirectly through wider programmes such as on skills development. The benefit of each pound spent on the Agri-tech Strategy was estimated to be £9 (BIS Evaluation Plan 2016)[1]. The estimated benefit, on average, for funds spent in England under Pillar 2 of the CAP is over £3 per pound spent according to the Rural Development Plan for England Impact Assessment 2015[2], but less than £1 per pound spent for Pillar 1 according to a report on implementation of CAP in England in 2013[3]. As a result of the UK’s decision to leave the European Union there is a real opportunity to improve returns to taxpayer support for agriculture.

[1] BIS Evaluation Plan 2016

[2] The Rural Development Programme for England, 2014 to 2020: Final Impact Assessment (2015)

[3] Implementation of CAP reform in England 2013

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