1 May 2001
NFU anger as agrimoney chance lost

By FWi staff

FARMERS representatives have accused the Government of neglecting arable farmers after ministers failed to apply for 42m in EU agrimoney aid.

The National Farmers Union had been lobbying the Ministry of Agriculture to apply for the agrimoney package to help offset losses in the sector.

But officials were furious to learn that the Monday (April 30) deadline passed without the Ministry of Agriculture lodging a claim for the cash.

Agrimoney compensates growers in member states outside of the euro who are disadvantaged by currency fluctuations.

Brussels would pay out 70% of the money, but the UK Treasury has been reluctant to authorise previous payments because 30% must come from UK coffers.

In a letter to Agriculture Minster Nick Brown last month, NFU president Ben Gill said wet weather, poor prices and a strong Pound were hitting arable farmers.

“I urge you not to neglect the arable industry at this time, pleaded Mr Gill.

Their plight, while not centre stage due to the acute difficulties of foot and mouth, is very serious and the case for agrimoney support clear and justifiable.”

The money included 2 million in compensation for farmers involved in environmental schemes.

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