Prime Minister’s pledges to farming industry – a summary
Prime Minister’s pledges to farming industry – a summary

Prime Minister’s pledges to farming industry – a summary

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has announced a series of new measures to support the farming industry during an address at the 2024 NFU Annual Conference.

During his ten-minute keynote speech, which was followed by a Q and A session, he told farmers ‘I’ve got your back’ and praised their contribution to the British way of life.

He then outlined the following announcements:

  • The management payment for the Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) will double from this spring. The payment is currently worth a maximum of £1,000 per year (paid at a rate of £20/ha up to a maximum of 50ha), but this will increase to £2,000 per year. It follows the increase in SFI payments announced at the Oxford Farming Conference in January.
  • An increase to £220m in the total funding pot for the 2024 Farming Equipment and Technology Fund 2024 which provides grants for equipment and technology that support improvements in productivity, slurry management, and animal health and welfare. The maximum grant amounts for productivity and slurry are also being increased to £50,000 for each of these themes, but the maximum grant amount for animal health and welfare remains at £25,000. There will be multiple application windows through the year.
  • The Government has promised to publish an annual Food Security Index to look at trends relevant to food security. Previously, it had only been committed to publishing a UK Food Security Report every three years. The index will be released at a Farm to Fork Summit which has been scheduled for this spring. The Government held its first Farm to Fork Summit in 2023 but is now saying it will become an annual event.
  • Legislation will be laid in April 2024 to bring greater flexibility in the planning system. The Prime Minister promised that following its consultation last year it will cut bureaucratic red tape around permitted development rights so farmers can more easily develop buildings and diversify earnings through farm shops, commercial space and sporting venues.
  • In addition, Rishi Sunak said while the transition away from the CAP had been frustrating for farmers and taken time, he believed the vision for the way forward was the right one. The schemes being rolled out were investing in ‘a foundation of food security’, adding that he would never impose a mandatory requirement for farmers to put a set percentage of their land into an environmental scheme.

If you would like to know more about any of the schemes outlined above, then contact a member of the Farming or Land Management departments.

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