Government Publishes Roadmap For Future of Farming

The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has today published a roadmap for the transition to future farming systems set out in the Agriculture Act 2020.

The ‘Path to Sustainable Farming’ document sets out the seven year transition away from the Basic Payment Scheme which will see Direct Payments reduced fairly, starting from the 2021 Basic Payment Scheme year, with the money released being used to fund new grants and schemes to boost farmers’ productivity and reward environmental improvements.

The document also introduces the Environmental Land Management Scheme which will consist of three components:

  • the Sustainable Farming Incentive, which will support approaches to farm husbandry that deliver for the environment, such as actions to improve soil health, hedgerows and integrated pest management,
  • Local Nature Recovery, which will pay for actions such as creating, managing or restoring habitats, natural flood management and species management,
  • Landscape Recovery, which will focus on landscape and ecosystem recovery through projects looking to achieve large-scale forest and woodland creation, peatland restoration, or the creation and restoration of coastal habitats, such as wetlands and salt marsh.

A new Farming Investment Fund will also open next year, which will provide targeted support for businesses to invest in equipment, technology, and infrastructure that will improve their productivity and deliver environmental benefits.

The publication of the roadmap will be followed by a period of engagement with farmers, land managers and other stakeholders to finalise the design and operation of the future system.