Economic Situation: Rural Areas

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

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Photo of Alberto Costa Alberto Costa Conservative, South Leicestershire

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to ensure the long-term sustainability of the rural economy.

Photo of Rebecca Pow Rebecca Pow The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

On 30 November, Defra published ‘The Path to Sustainable Farming: An Agricultural Transition Plan 2021 to 2024’. This document will help farmers and land managers better understand what changes are coming as part of the seven-year agricultural transition period, now that the UK has left the EU. The Environmental Land Management scheme is the cornerstone of our new agricultural policy and it is intended to provide a powerful vehicle for achieving the goals of the 25 Year Environment Plan and commitment to net zero emissions by 2050, while supporting our rural economy.

Defra is working with other departments on a range of other measures to support rural economies and help address long-term productivity challenges. This includes the UK Shared Prosperity Fund which will support investment in rural infrastructure and businesses and the £5 billion UK Gigabit Programme targeted at connecting hard to reach areas. Defra will shortly publish the first annual rural proofing report on how the needs of rural areas in England are being addressed.

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