HC Deb 09 February 1977 vol 925 cc720-1W
Mr. Newens

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, if he has reached a decision on the future of the work undertaken by the Central Council for Agricultural and Horticultural Co-operation; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. John Silkin

Subject to parliamentary approval, Ministers have agreed that the Agricultural and Horticultural Co-operation Scheme 1971, which runs out in May, should be renewed for a further three years subject to certain changes, the most important of which is that the rates of grant will be reduced to those payable to an individual farmer or grower. So far as the Council's marketing work is concerned, Ministers have agreed to renew the funds made available for this for a further three years from March at their present level, subject to certain organisational and other changes which we shall be discussing with the Central Council.