Isle of Wight farmers urged to take part in sustainable farming pilot scheme

Under the Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) scheme, farmers will be paid to adopt agricultural practices that benefit the environment

Hedgerows and road

Isle of Wight Conservative MP, Robert Seely, is encouraging Isle of Wight farmers to take advantage of a new government pilot scheme that compensates farmers and land managers for sustainable farming practices.

Under the Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) scheme, farmers will be paid to adopt agricultural practices that benefit the environment.

What’s included
These could include planting hedgerows to provide year-round food, shelter and breeding cover for birds and insects, improving soil, and using environmentally friendly approaches to pest management.

Farmers must submit their expressions of interest via an online form to take part. The incentive will eventually be open to all farmers but is initially open to recipients of the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) – the biggest of the rural grants and payments that provide help to the farming industry. The government intends to roll out the scheme fully in 2024.

Seely: A good way to reward farmers for their efforts
Mr Seely said,

“Having spoken to farmers on the Island, I’m well aware that the priority for farmers post-Brexit is to produce high-quality British food whilst managing the environment sensitively. That is always going to be their priority.

“However, taking care of the natural environment is also an important part of their role, especially on the Island, and especially now as the council and I work towards examining the possibility of greater landscape protection for the Island.

“I look forward to working with farmers to develop a prosperous farming economy in which more of us are eating Island produce whilst at the same time ensuring that we have the highest environmental protections.

“This scheme is a good way to reward farmers for their efforts and incentivise them to do even more to look after our natural environment. I encourage eligible Isle of Wight farmers to sign up.”

Sustainable Farming Incentive
The Sustainable Farming Incentive is the first of three pilot schemes that help farmers look after the environment. Further information on the other two schemes, Local Nature Recovery and Landscape Recovery, will be shared later this year.

Together, the three schemes will reward farmers, foresters and other land managers to play a crucial role in the national effort to tackle climate change by reducing carbon emissions through environmentally-friendly practices such as increasing biodiversity, improving soil quality and improving water and air quality.

Taylor: An essential funding bridge for farmers
Laurence Taylor, Chair of the IW CLA, said,

“The CLA fully supports this pilot and is encouraging eligible farmers and land managers to take part.

“Not only will the SFI contribute to more environmental farming practices, it will also provide an essential funding bridge for farmers as BPS payments are systematically reduced over the next few years.

“It’s important to ensure that the design and administration of the SFI is well tested to ensure it is right before being rolled out more widely.”

Further information on the pilot can be found here.

News shared by the office of Isle of Wight Conservative MP, Robert Seely, in their own words. Ed

Image: edenpictures under CC BY 2.0

Friday, 19th March, 2021 11:20am



Filed under: Agriculture, Farming, Island-wide, Isle of Wight News, Top story

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8 Comments on "Isle of Wight farmers urged to take part in sustainable farming pilot scheme"

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Steve Goodman
A reminder of so many things, starting with Bob’s continuing failure to respond to being urged/ encouraged by Islanders to condemn his Home Sec.’s bullying which has just resulted in another expensive government compensation scheme to keep the matter out of court. Next, the fact that our farming, and much else, became so suicidally unsustainable that we now need to scramble to try to halt and possibly… Read more »

Are these payments replacements for the old EU funded Common Agricultural Payments(CAP)?

Let’s all hope that our farmers fare better than our fisherman under the Tories industry crushing car crash Brexit.

Walter Sobchak

“ paid to adopt agricultural practices that benefit the environment”.
Will that include the nefarious practices of offering their land up for housing development?

But is this a real effort to make farming truly sustainable or just a little tinkering around the edges? You don’t need to be a hippy vegan eco-warrior type to understand that animal farming is unsustainable. To feed the world without destroying the world we need to move away from our over-reliance on meat, poultry and dairy. Is Bob suggesting a move to a plant-based diet for… Read more »
Angela Hewitt
It’s great that so may people are now turning to a plant based diet plus their vitamin B12 tablets. See below. But Passive aggressive bullying will slow down your cause. It will not happen over night. I have actually been attacked by vegan trolls which has had the effect of turning me against vegans. They also confuse me with their ethics. They insist on restaurants providing them… Read more »
Really. Angela, your rant against vegans and veganism only serves to highlight your own prejudices. Just because a very few vegans have annoyed you doesn’t mean that the vast majority are ‘passive aggressive bullies’. In the past, when vegans were a miniscule minority of the population, they were frequently the victims of sustained bullying, just for being different and principled. It took a great deal of will-power… Read more »

How is this compatible with the constant flow of plans to develop the island (more trading estates, more shops, high density housing, bigger roads)?

Is it me or what? I always believed farmers did look at sustainable farming. Correct me if I am wrong but I recall Conservatives were the party that made farmers leave fields empty of any crops and pay them for doing so, now they wish them to plant, which everyone knew would be the best way forward with us now out of EU. I should imagine any… Read more »