National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

12 September 2018

Defra has announced the new Agriculture Bill today (12 September) and NFYFC is pleased to see recognition for new entrants and young farmers in the announcnement, although details of the Bill are yet to be confirmed.

NFYFC's Chair of Council Lynsey Martin said:“NFYFC is pleased that the announcement about the new Agriculture Bill reflects some of the needs of new entrants. Our consultation groups with Defra and NFYFC’s survey and events helped determine what young people wanted from a future agricultural policy.

"NFYFC looks forward to seeing more details about the new Bill in due course and will continue to work with industry and Defra to share the views of YFC members.”

NFYFC held consultation groups with YFC members and Defra across the country in 2017, encouraged young farmers to complete a survey to share their views and hopes for the future of farming post-Brexit and also involved YFC members in discussion groups. All of this research fed into NFYFC's response paper that was submitted to Defra to help shape the plans for a new British Agriculture Bill.

NFYFC AGRI produced a position paper from the survey results and submitted a final consultation response in May.

What does the new Agriculture Bill include? 

Defra's statement: 

The Agriculture Bill sets out how farmers and land managers will in future be paid for “public goods”, such as better air and water quality, improved soil health, higher animal welfare standards, public access to the countryside and measures to reduce flooding.

This will replace the current subsidy system of Direct Payments, which is ineffective and pays farmers based on the total amount of land farmed. These payments are skewed towards the largest landowners and are not linked to any specific public benefits. The top 10% of recipients currently receive almost 50% of total payments, while the bottom 20% receive just 2%.

In its place, a new Environmental Land Management system will start from next year. The government will work together with farmers to design, develop and trial the new approach. Under the new system, farmers and land managers who provide the greatest environmental benefits will secure the largest rewards, laying the foundations for a Green Brexit.

The Bill will also be underpinned by measures to increase productivity and invest in R&D.

For example, there will be funding available for farmers to come together to develop and get the research projects that they want and need, whether that be on soil health or sustainable livestock farming . This will lead to practical gains for farmers that help them become more profitable and reduce their environmental footprint.

The government will also be able to make payments during the seven year transition period for famers to invest in new technologies and methods that boost productivity.

To read the full statement on the Defra website, please see here.


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