§ Mr. Butler
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what progress there has been in processing applications for the farm diversification grant scheme.
§ Mr. Ryder
Since the farm diversification grant scheme was introduced on 1 January this year, a total of 649 applications have been received in England. Of these, 530 have been acknowledged, which means a farmer can, if he wishes, make a start on the proposed work before approval of his application is given; 303 applications have so far been approved and 66 rejected or withdrawn.