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Agriculture: Sustainable Development

Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN 52433, tabled on 21 September 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the details available to farmers on the Sustainable Farming Incentive.

Answered on

29 September 2021

Last November, we published our Agricultural Transition Plan setting out all our future environmental land management schemes, starting with the Sustainable Farming Incentive.

We set out what we intend to achieve by 2028 and how we will help farmers manage the move away from Direct Payments over a seven-year transition period to give everyone time to plan and adjust.

In March of this year, we launched the pilot of the Sustainable Farming Incentive. This was so that we could test, at scale, the future scheme in real-world scenarios, with a wide range of farmers and land managers. Our goal is to collaborate with farmers and land managers to design and deliver a scheme that works best for them.

We are currently undertaking user research and surveys on these pilot applicants with a view to informing and improving the scheme. From this we will learn how farmers and land managers have fared in understanding the information presented to them.

In June, we published a progress update of the Agricultural Transition Plan. Here, we gave further details of the early rollout of the Sustainable Farming Incentive scheme and what it will pay for. We also set out clear guidance on the scheme’s eligibility criteria and how farmers can be rewarded for their environmentally sustainable actions when it opens in 2022.

We will be publishing more information about the Sustainable Farming Incentive in November, including confirmation of the standard payment rates.