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Common Agricultural Policy

Volume 404: debated on Thursday 8 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the effectiveness of CAP Pillar Two funding. [111273]

The effectiveness of CAP Pillar Two funding in England is being assessed in several ways. The Mid-term Evaluation of the England Rural Development Programme (ERDP) is currently in progress and aims to assess the implementation and impact of the Programme since its inception in 2000 to present. The evaluation will be completed in December 2003 and its findings will be reported to the European Commission. Similar evaluations are being produced on rural development programmes in other parts of the UK and in the other member states.There are also a number of recently completed or ongoing studies on individual ERDP schemes and other reviews that will touch on the effectiveness of the Programme as a whole. The studies on individual ERDP schemes include a major review of agri-environment schemes, a Hill Farming Allowance review and reviews of the Farm Woodland Premium and Woodland Grant Schemes. With regard to project based schemes, an economic evaluation of the Processing and Marketing Grant scheme is in progress and various aspects of the impact the Rural Enterprise Scheme are being examined.Outside of these internal reviews and studies, Defra officials assess the effectiveness of CAP Pillar Two funding by analysing reports from other organisations and by using internal management information.