British Farmers to Become 'Keepers of Countryside' : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Saturday 28 April 2001 By Rachel Sylvester The Telegraph

FARMERS will be paid to be "custodians of the countryside" rather than producers of food under sweeping reforms being planned after the devastation caused by the foot and mouth epidemic.

In an interview with The Telegraph today, Nick Brown, the Agriculture Minister, backs the creation of a Department for Rural Affairs as part of the biggest shake-up of farming since the war.

He says the Government's far-reaching review of agriculture will radically change the lives and incomes of farming communities. Instead of being paid to produce surpluses of cheap food by intensive methods, farmers will be rewarded for maintaining the traditional landscape.

They will be paid to graze sheep on hillsides, for example, build dry stone walls and plant hedges. Snip.....

-- Ron Trapnell (, April 28, 2001


Farmers not persuaded disease is under control By David Brown, Agriculture Editor The Telegraph

THREE out of four farmers believe that the foot and mouth epidemic is still not under control despite Government efforts to persuade them otherwise, according to a survey of 2,500 producers released today.

The number of confirmed cases of foot and mouth disease rose to 1,499 yesterday, an increase of 13 on the previous day. The report, by the National Farm Research Unit, a Suffolk-based organisation, shows that farmers still feel that not enough is being done to end the epidemic.

Eighty-six per cent are unhappy with the control strategy compared with 73 per cent in February and almost 74 per cent feel that the epidemic is still not under control. Jim Williams, a director of the company, said last night: "Farmers are expressing their disillusion with the Government, the Ministry of Agriculture and other bodies who have been attempting, unsuccessfully it would seem, to keep this epidemic under control.

-- Ron Trapnell (, April 28, 2001.

Sounds like the old soil bank programs Uncle Sugar had in the '50's and '60's. Pay farmers not to plant. Keep the food prices up. The government can't afford to have prices drop less tax revenue.

-- David Williams (, April 30, 2001.

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