This week I had an interesting meeting with the local Farming Community Network representative. This fantastic charity provides support and information to the farming community.
Coming from a village background with farming roots, I understand the issues facing the farming community and the challenges that they face.
For one we need to protect farmers’ livelihoods by tackling Bovine TB. We are working to eradicate this terrible disease by continuing with badger culls, vaccinating healthy badgers to protect them from the disease, helping farmers to control the disease and working to develop an effective vaccine to protect cattle.
Getting CAP money paid out more quickly is essential. In 2013 the Rural Payments Agency paid out the largest sum of money on the first day when payments to farms can be made in its history. In total £1.48 billion was paid out to around 95,000 farmers, over 90% of those eligible, on 2 December 2013.
Continuing to push for reforms to the CAP to make sure Britain gets a fair deal is something that I will continue to fight for. We want to see a reduction in the level of subsidies for the agricultural sector and the focus to shift from direct payments to farmers towards environmental protection, with payments linked to measures to protect the environment, improve animal welfare and raise standards .
Providing £20 million to train 90,000 rural entrepreneurs. This is bringing new training, skills and knowledge to the countryside to boost rural economies.
For more information about the Farming Community Network, visit http://www.fcn.org.uk/