1 May 2001
Retiring pig men miss out on cash

By FWi staff

FEWER than half the farmers who applied to quit pig farming will receive money under the governments Pig Industry Restructuring Scheme.

Some 1237 farmers wanted to join the scheme, but only 432 were accepted, said Baroness Hayman in a written parliamentary answer on Monday (30 April).

The successful applicants will be paid 10.6 million to quit farming – an average payment of 111 per sow place, she said.

Some 315 farmers from England, 87 from Northern Ireland, 20 from Scotland and 10 from Wales will now leave the industry.

The scheme was vastly oversubscribed. The 1237 farmers who applied had 205,327 sow places – greatly exceeding the target of 120,000 sow places,

The Baroness said applicants were selected on a value-for-money basis.

“Bids were assessed using a value-for-money criterion agreed by [the Ministry of Agriculture] and the devolved authorities in advance of opening the bids.

“This was done in order to avoid any accusations of manipulating the criterion to achieve a specific result.”

Bids greater than 125% of the average bid in terms of the amount of money farmers wanted in compensation for each sow place were rejected.

The highest tender to be accepted was calculated at 237 per sow place, giving a maximum payment of 142 per sow place.

Successful applicants will receive 60% of the amount tendered for each sow place, which is the maximum amount payable under the scheme rules.

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