HC Deb 11 July 1994 vol 246 cc445-6W
Sir Richard Body

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what information she has sought as to whether Germany, France and Italy have complied with their requirement to set aside arable land; and if she will publish the outcome of her inquiries.

Mr. Jack

The arable area payments scheme does not impose any set-aside target at a national level. It is for individual farmers to decide whether or not to apply for payments under the main scheme, although if they do they must set aside part of the area on which they are claiming. The area set aside in individual member states each year will therefore depend entirely on the numbers of farmers who have eligible land and who apply under the main scheme. Provisional Commission figures for the 1992–93 scheme year indicate that 1,063,000 hectares of land were set aside under the scheme in the Federal Republic of Germany, 1,589,000 hectares in France and 207,000 hectares in Italy. This is the appropriate proportion of the total area on which farmers in those countries claimed area payments under the main scheme and the figures are close to earlier Commission estimates of the total areas likely to be set aside in each member state.

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