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Written Statement - Dual use of land by Farmers claiming European Payments

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Alun Davies, Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries, Food and European Programmes.

Under the EU Common Agriculture Policy issues have arisen about the practice whereby two different farmers are able to claim payment under different schemes on the same piece of land. This dual use of land is not permitted under the Glastir scheme that will be operational from 1 January 2012.

I have been considering the longer term implications on dual use and I intend to introduce new rules and controls that would be implemented from 2012 

The introduction of these rules and controls is designed to allow Wales to better evidence compliance with EU requirements where a dual use conflict exists. The way forward would be based on the premise that dual use of land will be permissible only as an exception and where each party will need to evidence eligibility for the Single Payment Scheme (SPS) and an agri-environment scheme (including Glastir and Organic schemes), as appropriate, on the same land throughout the year.  Farmers must move away from dual use to avoid the inevitable complications with evidencing their eligibility for payment.  Where dual use relates to SPS and Less Favoured Area (LFA) payments, my intention is that payment can only be made to the farmer exercising the agricultural activity on the land claimed.

I have instructed officials to consult key industry representatives on the proposed new rules and for the associated controls to be effective and proportionate.  Rural Payments Wales will be reviewing the responses made. I will make a final decision in October 2011.