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Agriculture: Derbyshire

Volume 470: debated on Wednesday 23 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what funding streams are available to help farmers in West Derbyshire to diversify into organic and sustainable farming methods. (178546)

Aid for farmers who wish to convert their land to organic production is available under Organic Entry Level Stewardship (OELS). This is a ‘whole farm’ scheme open to farmers who manage all or part of their land organically and who are not receiving aid under the Organic Farming Scheme (OFS) which is now closed to new applicants.

Acceptance into the scheme is guaranteed providing an applicant meets all of its requirements, including ensuring that their organic land is registered with an Organic Inspection Body (OIB) before applying and that it remains continuously registered with an OIB for the five-year duration of the agreement.

OELS is the organic strand of Environmental Stewardship (ES) which is the main agri-environment scheme open to farmers and land managers in England. ES provides grant aid to farmers in order to secure environmental benefits and encourage sustainable farming through a wide range of land management options. It is administered by Natural England.