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Ec Extensification Scheme

Volume 175: debated on Monday 2 July 1990

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To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what proposals he has for implementing the European Community extensification scheme; and if he will make a statement.

My right hon. Friends and I have decided to introduce pilot extensification schemes for beef and sheep under the Community rules. Cash incentives will be made available to about 100 participating producers in selected livestock areas who are prepared to reduce their production by at least 20 per cent. over a period of five years. Apart from reducing livestock production on these farms, the schemes should bring environmental benefits through the less-intensive use of land and a reduced requirement for fertilisers and pesticides. I shall place in the Library information on the rules of the scheme.