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Land Use

Volume 487: debated on Wednesday 11 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what his policy is on (a) proposals to increase the amount of land currently farmed for crops being set aside and (b) proposals for the location of such land within (i) farm holdings and (ii) individual fields. (253808)

Our policy is to encourage farmers to produce for the market whilst at the same time reducing negative impact on the environment.

We expect to be in a position to consult on possible measures mitigating against the impact of the loss of set-aside, including options for farmers, later in the year.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent assessment he has made of the effect of the set-aside mitigation measures in cross-compliance on the farming industry. (253945)

The Secretary of State asked Sir Don Curry to bring together stakeholders to consider the impact of the loss of set-aside including investigating mitigation. Sir Don reported in July and subsequently we have been considering the details of how mitigation might be put into practice. We expect to be in a position to consult on possible mitigation measures later in the year along with a consultation stage impact assessment which I will arrange to be laid in the Library of the House.