3 May 1996

MAFFs eye in the sky on watch again

ONCE again, MAFF will be using satellite imagery and aerial photography to check the accuracy of farmers IACS claims.

"The 1995 programme confirmed that, in most cases, IACS applicants have provided accurate area and cropping information," said junior minister, Tony Baldry, when announcing the scheme. "However, as in past years, the checks revealed a small but significant number of cases where applicants had claimed aid for crops grown on ineligible land.

"In addition, a small number of other discrepancies on crop types and area measurements were detected. Appropriate penalties are being applied to these applicants, involving loss of all or part of their compensatory payments."

Brussels rules require that at least 5% of all applications are also subject to a field inspection but MAFFis likely to do more.

Aerial photography and satellite imagery will be used again this summer to check IACSclaims.