§ Mr. Ottaway
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what redeployment of his staff will take place, following enactment of the Agriculture Bill, to meet the requirement to have a duty to balance countryside conservation with agricultural efficiency when discharging any functions in connection with agriculture.
§ Mrs. Fenner
Clause 12 of the Agriculture Bill would, if enacted, give statutory backing to the present practice of my Department, which is to balance the need to promote and maintain a stable and efficient agricultural industry with other important interests in the countryside.
I do not expect additional resources to be required to implement this clause. However, in view of the importance of the interaction between agriculture and the environment, we recently strengthened the team of officials responsible for policy work in this area and established a co-ordinating environmental unit within ADAS.