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Farming (Upland Areas)

Volume 405: debated on Thursday 15 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on the prospects for farming businesses in upland areas. [113319]

The Government recognise the importance of farming business in upland areas, and the contribution they can make to the upland environment, economy and community. I am aware of the anxiety about CAP reform and its impact on the uplands, but economic analysis undertaken by the Department suggests there will be an improvement in prospects for UK agriculture overall. These and other factors will be taken into account in our current review of Hill Farm Allowance, on which public consultation is under way.