After concerns were raised by food and farming organisations, DEFRA has decided to provide more transparency on how the agriculture budget for England is spent.
On 18th September DEFRA published its Food Farming and Countryside Programme annual report for the 2022-23 financial year.
The report found that DEFRA spent £2.23bn in 2022-23. This is below the government’s post-Brexit commitment to spending £2.4bn every year for the duration of the current parliament after ending its involvement in the Common Agricultural Policy.
DEFRA says that it spent less than planned on capital grants, especially when it came to the Countryside Stewardship grants because of historically high levels of inflation in 2022-23. DEFRA maintains that it will average out at £2.4bn across this parliament.
Environmental Land Management budget increase
The government has confirmed that it is more than doubling its spending on Environmental Land Management (ELM) schemes, including an increased annual spend on productivity and innovations grants and increasing the funding available for the first round of the Slurry Infrastructure Grant by more than double due to very high demand.
After a delay due to IT-related issues the 2023 Sustainable farming Incentive scheme opened for applications on 18th September. It is important to note that spending related to this scheme will be allocated to the 2024-25 financial year of spending.
If you would like to find out more about the DEFRA’s spending for the 2022/23 financial year, please visit: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1185389/FCP-annual-accounts2223.pdf
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