Selaine Saxby MP welcomes the announcement made by the Secretary of State for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs at the Oxford Farming Conference today.
In his speech the Secretary of State announced funding uplifts, streamlined application processes, enhanced environmental incentives and support for the roll out of new technology. These updates, a key development of the post Brexit payment schemes, will provide further support for British farmers, strengthening supply chains and helping deliver the Government’s commitment to continue to produce at least 60% of the food we eat in the UK.
Specifically these improvements will include:
- A 10% increase in the average value of agreements in the Sustainable Farming Incentive and Countryside Stewardship driven by increased payment rates, with uplifts automatically applied to existing agreements.
- A streamlined single application process for farmers to apply for the Sustainable Farming Incentive and Countryside Stewardship Mid Tier.
- Around 50 new actions that farmers can get paid for across all types of farm businesses, including actions for agroforestry and those driving forward agricultural technology such as robotic mechanical weeding.
- Enhanced payments for ‘creation’ and ‘maintenance’ options to improve the long term incentives for farmers to create habitats and ensure they are rewarded for looking after habitats once they have created them.
- Premium payments for actions with the biggest environmental impact or combinations of actions that deliver benefits at scale, such as £765 per hectare for nesting plots for lapwing, and £1,242 per hectare for connecting river and floodplain habitat.
Following the UK leaving the EU new farming schemes are paying farmers to take actions that boost sustainable food production whilst delivering positive outcomes for the environment. The schemes are designed to work for all farm types and sizes, with thousands of farmers across England already taking part, and replace the bureaucratic Common Agricultural Policy which saw 50% of funding go to the largest 10% of landowners.
Selaine Saxby, MP for North Devon said:
“It’s fantastic to see Steve Barclay set out the latest upgrades to farming schemes since Brexit at the Oxford Farming Conference. This is great news for our farmers in North Devon who will see payment increase by 10% in the average value of agreements in the Sustainable Farming Incentive and Countryside Stewardship and a consultation on British food labelling which will make it easier to support great British produce. I supported Dr Luke Evans’ ‘Buy British Button’ campaign and look forward to positive change this will bring to the farming industry.
“When I visit farmers in North Devon, a lot of the feedback I hear is that the previous application process for grants were long and complicated. I am delighted that the process has now been simplified for 2024, enabling farmers to apply for the Sustainable Farming Incentive and Countryside Stewardship Mid Tier through a single application. Farmers will be able to submit their applications for the 2024 offer from this summer!”
Environment Secretary, Steve Barclay said:
“Farmers do the essential job of keeping Britain fed. That’s why I’ll back British farmers and help support farming businesses.
“We have listened to farmers’ feedback and set out the biggest upgrades to our farming schemes since leaving the EU, with more money, more choice and more trust to support domestic food production whilst also protecting the environment.
“We’re also making it easier for farmers of every farm type and size to enter the schemes, and I encourage everyone to take a look at how you can join the thousands of other farmers and land managers who are already receiving our backing through the schemes.”