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Agriculture: Subsidies

Volume 506: debated on Thursday 4 March 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs by what means his Department will ensure any outcomes arising from the Axis 1 subsidies meet the required goals; and how those outcomes will be reported. (318781)

Responsibility for delivery of Axis 1 of the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) lies mainly with the regional development agencies (RDAs). In considering any application for support from the programme, RDAs apply rigorous appraisal processes under which applications are assessed against a range of criteria and the extent to which they meet programme objectives and regional strategic priorities.

As managing authority for the programme, DEFRA retains overall responsibility for oversight of delivery of the programme and the achievement of outcomes. DEFRA maintains regular formal and informal liaison with the RDAs, who report frequently to DEFRA on the delivery of the programme. Regular reports are also made to the RDPE Programme Monitoring Committee, which comprises stakeholder and delivery bodies.

Monitoring and evaluation of the effectiveness with which the Axis 1 objectives are being met is carried out in accordance with procedures that are set out in EU legislation. These monitoring procedures include submission of an annual report by DEFRA. Programme evaluation is undertaken at the mid-point of the programme period (2007-13) and following the end of the programme period. The programme’s mid-term evaluation process will be carried out during 2010. Some RDAs are also undertaking targeted evaluation activity at a regional level to help inform programme delivery.