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Agriculture: Floods

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 4th May 2020.

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Photo of Laurence Robertson Laurence Robertson Conservative, Tewkesbury

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when he plans to publish details of the Farm Flood Recovery Scheme; and how farmers will be able to apply for support from that scheme; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Victoria Prentis Victoria Prentis The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

We announced on 20 March that the existing £4 million Farming Recovery Fund would be extended to cover the impacts of storms Ciara and Dennis and the further flooding that occurred in late February 2020. The available funding was increased by £6 million to help those who were most affected by these floods. Farmers in the eligible areas will be able to access up to £25,000 as a single contribution to cover their uninsurable losses. The funding will help with the re-cultivation or re-seeding of arable and grassland and the restoration of features such as field gates and fencing. As part of the announcement, we also confirmed a relaxation of the crop diversification requirements known as the three crop rule for 2020, to help any farmers who may have difficulty complying with the rule this year.

Defra has been working with the Rural Payments Agency to develop a new way to apply for the funding. We are now planning to launch a new application process that uses an online portal. Use of the portal will already be familiar to the many thousands of farmers who applied to the Countryside Productivity Small Grants scheme, and is recognised as being an easily accessible and fast route to access funding. This portal can be accessed via GOV.UK from late May and we will publicise its availability.

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