Friday, 20 December 2013

Implementation of CAP announced

Defra has announced details of the CAP review in England and the amount of money that is to be transferred from Pillar 1 to Pillar 2. Initially, this has been restricted to 12% rather than the 15% that had been muted.

The understandable aim has been to ensure that the income to farmers from single farm payment is secure and that less depends on applications for environmental grant funding.  The shift towards to Pillar 2 will continue and with it will come the greater control over the environmental benefits that public funding will deliver.  There is a logic to this, but I am wary of it being taken to extremes that will stifle farming's entrepreneurial skills.  The ideal to my mind is knowledgeable farmers who have the enthusiasm and funds to apply their skills to the management of their land.  The old cry of 'it is difficult to be green when you are in the red' still rings very true.  Local, well-motivated people are always going to achieve more than broad brush control from a distant office.  Perhaps we need to focus more effort on explaining to our farmers and the other managers of land what is required and why.

The Defra website has no shortage of additional information.