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Agriculture: Subsidies

Volume 495: debated on Tuesday 7 July 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps his Department is taking to ensure the accuracy of mapping of land for the purposes of 2010 single farm payments. (284787)

The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) is in the process of updating land information used to support the single payment scheme (SPS) and other direct support schemes. A programme of work is under way to deliver a more effective and up-to-date geographic information system, as required under EU Regulation.

The programme of work includes a mapping update project which will gain agreement from farmers to updated maps of their land parcels and ensure the mapping information held by RPA to support the SPS and direct support schemes reflects the most up to date actual land and features on the ground. For the first time permanent features ineligible for support under the SPS are included. There are more than 2 million land parcels in England.

Completion of the work this year will enable the updated maps to be used for next year. The programme will also provide the potential for future new services, such as the ability to view maps online.