Helping Farm Businesses in England
The Stationery Office, 2004 - Agricultural industries - 48 pages
UK farmers currently receive nearly [pound]3 billion a year in subsidies under the Common Agricultural Policy. However, CAP reforms agreed in June 2003 will mean a step-change in the way agricultural subsidies will be paid in the future, based on the concept of 'decoupling' which will break the link between production and subsidy, and will give farmers the opportunity to focus on consumer market demand. This report by the National Audit Office examines a range of issues involved in farm business development support in England and makes recommendations for improvements to the operation of existing schemes which run to 2006 and the next phase of schemes to run from 2007 to 2013. Issues discussed include: DEFRA's strategy for sustainable farming covering the food chain as a whole; development scheme take-up levels, budget spend, application and assessment procedures, impact and evaluation; business support needs including advice and training, and tailoring schemes to meet local needs; comparisons with rural development schemes in Wales and Northern Ireland, in a number of other countries in Europe, as well as in the United States, Canada and New Zealand
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