Agriculture: Subsidies

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 26th April 2022.

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Photo of Laurence Robertson Laurence Robertson Conservative, Tewkesbury

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will suspend incremental reductions in Basic Payment Scheme for 2022 and 2023 as a result of potential uncertainly and higher cost of production across all sectors.

Photo of Victoria Prentis Victoria Prentis The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

We will not change the profile of Direct Payments reductions.

Area based subsidy gave half the farming budget to 10% of landowners. The Basic Payment Scheme did not support food production and did nothing to stop the decline in nature. We must seize the opportunity to establish a different system of rewards and incentives in agriculture. I am pleased that we are supporting farmers with the choices that they make for their own holdings.

Last month we announced steps to assist farmers with the availability of fertilisers for the coming growing season, to help address uncertainty amongst growers and keep costs down for farmers.

The planned changes to the use of urea fertiliser will be delayed by at least a year, helping farmers manage costs and giving them more time to adapt to pressures on the supply of ammonium nitrate fertilisers. We are also encouraging farmers to make use of organic fertilisers. Farmers will be further supported by new slurry storage grants introduced this year.

Alongside this, we have published further details of the early rollout of Sustainable Farming Incentive. The scheme will help farmers move towards more sustainable farming practices over time; supporting farmers to build the health and fertility of their soil, and to reduce soil erosion which are essential for food production, helping to bolster food security and the longer-term resilience of the sector.

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