§ Sir Roger Moate
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what has been the take-up in each of the last five years of orchard replanting grants; and if she will make a statement about the cessation of the scheme.
§ Mr. Jack
The amount of grant given in England for orchard replanting over the last five years is as follows:
Orchard replanting grants in England 1989 to 1993 Year Expenditure (£) 1989 216,683 1990 234,094 1991 345,998 1992 570,530 1993 518,898 Total 1,886,193
These grants were introduced essentially as pump-priming measures to improve the competitiveness of the United Kingdom orchard sector through the injection of capital for the replanting of apple and pear orchards. The objective of the scheme was that, after five years of assistance, the industry would be capable of self-sustaining development without further government intervention. A recent evaluation of the scheme carried out for us by the university of Leicester indicates that the grants were taken up by practically all of our target population. A report of the evaluation is available in the Library of the House.