Basic Payment Scheme 2021 – Direct Payments Changing to Productivity and Environment Improvement Payments
The basic payment scheme is being phased out starting in 2021 and a new incentive is being introduced which rewards farmers and land managers while delivering additional public goods that improve the environment and sustainability.
Victoria Prentis, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) stated “Changes of this significance can be intimidating, and it is natural that many farmers are worried about the phasing out of Direct Payments from 2021. The new farm payment system is being brought in gradually and policies will be improved as required if they don’t work as intended.”
Victoria went on to express an understanding that farmers would need time to adjust to the changes. The government have committed to maintaining the annual budget every year they remain in. So the funding that was previously for direct farm payments will all be redirected for funding the Countryside Stewardship and other new Agri-environment schemes available. So the same amount of funding is available to the agricultural sector the only change is how it is distributed.
The changes are intended to help food production retain or improve competitivity and assist farmers to produce high-quality food in a sustainable manner, whilst protecting and enhancing the environment. With enough farmers working together on environmental improvements the focus is on creating greener landscapes, reversing species decline and significantly improve biodiversity.
Environment Improvement Payment Scheme
Implementation of a new strategy for a 7-year transition from the pre-Brexit EU-based agricultural funding rules has begun. The new system incentivises farmers for environmental improvements, reducing carbon emissions and improving the health and welfare of animals.
This new basic payment scheme 2021 will replace the previous farm payment Scheme that will be phased out existing agri-environment schemes will also be closed and a new approach will be introduced.
Included in the agri-environment schemes new approach:
- There will be three new schemes rewarding farmers & land managers for the production of public goods
- Grants and support aimed at improving farm production and profitability
- A new approach to regulation and enforcement in farming
The three new Agri-Environment Schemes are:
For more information on the Agri-Environment schemes.
Farming in Protected Landscapes
The Protected Landscapes bodies have funding available from 2021, this will be particularly to support upland farmers of which 75% of farms are in Protected Landscapes.
This scheme has been developed to support farmers to improve the natural environment of areas classed as protected landscapes, in line with the Environmental Plan target.
Read more on Farming in Protected Landscapes
Targets of the New Approach to Basic Payment Scheme 2021
The aim of the new approach to the basic payment scheme 2021 is to work together to enhance biodiversity, improve the environment and animal welfare but equally to build a resilient, sustainable agricultural sector.
With ambitious targets of achieving the protection of 30% of land in the UK by 2030 and Net Zero by 2050.