To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether a programme of capital grants will be continued and apply throughout the UK to assist farmers in adopting methods of agricultural production that maximise efficiency, environmental responsibility and welfare improvements.
The Countryside Productivity scheme provides funding, including grants, for projects in England which improve productivity in the farming and forestry sectors. In October this year we committed £30 million for further rounds of the Countryside Productivity Small Grant scheme, which helps farmers buy equipment they need to boost productivity, increase yields, and become more environmentally efficient.
The Agriculture Bill sets out the foundations for the future. It includes provisions which would allow for financial assistance to be given to improve the productivity of agricultural activities. This will allow us to make payments to enable farmers to invest in equipment, technology and infrastructure that will help them to improve their productivity. The payments will also help farmers to deliver public goods, such as environmental benefits and animal health and welfare enhancements that are significantly above the regulatory baseline.
We are developing a policy for England. Agriculture is devolved, and so it is for the devolved administrations to determine their own policies and decide how they spend their money.