HC Deb 10 November 2000 vol 356 cc408-9W
Mrs. Brinton

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of Government initiatives in supporting integrated farm management. [136792]

Mr. Morley

Integrated Farm Management (IFM) is an important priority for MAFF. As part of its commitment to developing more sustainable farming methods, the Department has put substantial resources into research and development relating to integrated farming systems, much of which has been in association with industry through LINK (a Government-wide scheme for joint funding R&D with industry to meet industry's needs).

My Department organised a seminar involving a wide range of interested organisations earlier this year to review the research results and to discuss the wider promotion of IFM. It was noted that the research results indicate that it is possible to reduce inputs of agrochemicals while maintaining profitability and that IFM can produce environmental benefits in the longer term such as improvements in bird numbers and biodiversity. As a result an industry-led Working Group was set up to consider the options for future promotional activities. This will report back shortly.

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