The British government on Monday confirmed that a new farming policy would replace the current EU subsidies when the Brexit transition period ends on Dec. 31 this year.
The new system, named Environmental Land Management (ELM), will pay farmers if they protect “heritage’’ farm buildings and stone walls, expand hedges, capture carbon in soils and cutting pesticides, among others.
According to the new policy, farmers will also get grant if they could manage national flood by such measures as restoring river bends, help landscape recovery by such means as restoring peatland and planting new woods.
Others are reduction of antibiotics and improve animal health and welfare.
The British authorities said the new measures will lead to a “renewed” agricultural sector producing healthy food at home and abroad, and improve the environment in the country, the BBC reported.
Under the current EU system, farmers get the subsidies based on the amount of land they farm, which some said is unfair because the richest farmers could get the biggest subsidies.
British Environment Secretary George Eustice told the BBC Breakfast programme that in spite the change in the policy, prices for food “will remain broadly stable”.
“This will be an evolution not a revolution.
“A document published on Monday confirmed that the old EU subsidies will be halved by 2024 and abolished by 2028.
“The money saved will be transferred into the new ELM system,’’ he said.
According to the BBC, the total being transferred from EU’s area-based payments to the new environmental payments is 1.8 billion pounds (about 2.4 billion dollars) annually for England.
The announcement came as Britain is continuously suffering from the coronavirus crisis, with the British economy forecast to shrink by 11.3 per cent this year — the worst recession in more than 300 years in the country.
To bring life back to normal, countries such as Britain, China, Germany, Russia and the U.S. are racing against time to develop coronavirus vaccines.