Countryside body wants more EC aid
THE Countryside Commission will be pressing the EU Commission to step up its funding on agri-environment schemes as part of CAP reform when it meets farm commissioner Franz Fischler next week.
Putting forward the views of the UK and other member states countryside organisations, Countryside Commission chairman, Richard Simmonds, will tell Mr Fischler that agri-environment schemes should be centre stage in any CAP reform.
Less than 4% of the CAP is spent on agri-environmental schemes across Europe. Austria, Finland and Luxembourg have 70% of their land under agri-environment agreements compared with only 8% in the UK.
All member states are obliged to operate agri-environment schemes under the CAP. But several have made little use of the programmes to provide the incentives for most farmers to farm in an environmentally friendly way, says the Countryside Commission. *