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Nitrate Vulnerable Zones: Capital Investment

Volume 470: debated on Wednesday 23 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) if he will make it his policy to introduce capital grants to assist farmers with increased storage requirements under the Nitrate Vulnerable Zones directive; (178159)

(2) what discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on introducing measures to provide financial assistance to farmers to comply with Nitrate Vulnerable Zone regulations.

DEFRA does not intend to provide funding to help farmers to comply with measures required under the proposed Action Programme, as set out in the consultation on implementation of the nitrates directive in England. It has regular discussions with the Treasury on financial arrangements in relation to delivery of its policies.

We are committed to seeking a derogation from the 170kgN/ha/yr whole farm limit for livestock manure. If approved, this will significantly reduce the economic cost to the livestock industry in the short term.

We have also committed £98 million under the Rural Development Programme to the livestock sector, to improve competitiveness, animal welfare and on-farm management of nutrients.