Agriculture: Subsidies

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 8th October 2019.

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Photo of Kerry McCarthy Kerry McCarthy Labour, Bristol East

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether her Department has made an assessment of the potential merits of creating a community supported agriculture start-up fund.

Photo of Kerry McCarthy Kerry McCarthy Labour, Bristol East

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what progress her Department has made on creating financial incentives for local authorities to invest county farms estates.

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

I value the role of county farm smallholdings, and particularly the opportunities they offer for new entrant farmers. We are considering whether we can use funds to refresh the county farm model by supporting local authorities to reinvest in their farms, helping with facilitation funding so that the farms are more of a hub for new entrants, and working with them to make it easier to move tenants out so that we have a constant pipe stream of new opportunities for new entrants.

Alongside that, we are considering whether that can be broadened beyond the traditional county farm, which has existed for many decades since the war, to include some of the peri-urban farms, which often have links to the agro-ecology movement and are often smaller community-based groups. Where local authorities have land that they can make available, we might be able to support the fostering of those schemes, which can be popular.

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