HC Deb 23 November 1993 vol 233 c26W
Mr. Tyler

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what progress has been made in her discussions on the extension of the EC set-aside programme; and if she will make a statement.

Mr. Jack

At the meeting of Agriculture Ministers on 16 and 17 November, my right hon. Friend the Minister continued to press for a number of changes to the rules on set-aside under the arable area payments scheme, in particular to enable those who have set land aside for five years under the old five-year scheme to keep all that land in set-aside, to reduce the percentage requirement for mixtures of rotational and non-rotational set-aside below the 20 per cent. proposed and to allow arable land taken out of production under forestry and agri-environment schemes to count against a producer's set-aside requirement. It was not possible to reach decisions at the meeting though a compromise was discussed that would allow farmers finishing a five-year set-aside agreement to keep all that land in set-aside for a further five years. Discussion will resume at the December Council when I hope that agreement can be reached.

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