21 November 2000
Analyst slams Rural Development

By Crops staff

BRITISH growers are being conned by the governments Rural Development Programme which aims to boost falling farm incomes, it has been claimed.

The programme is part of the governments bid to redirect farm subsidies from food production into other parts of the rural economy.

But many farmers will miss out on money diverted to the scheme, according to Robert Gooch, of the policy analyst company Eurinco.

The money is limited and not guaranteed, he told a Crops Conference at Chilford Hall, Linton, Cambridgeshire on Tuesday (21 November).

A better alternative would be to link subsidy payments to environmental benefits to which would safeguard arable incomes, said Mr Gooch.

Growers should lobby urgently for a change of government thinking and stop ministers from holding out against cross-compliance, he added.