HC Deb 23 October 2000 vol 355 cc94-5W
Mr. Paice

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will list his Department's figures for the profitability of(a) sugar beet production, (b) other arable production and (c) total farm enterprises for each of the years from 1989 to 1999. [132523]

Ms Quin

[holding answer 25 September 2000]: Estimates for the profitability of sugar beet and other arable production derived from information collected for farms in the University of Cambridge's province of the Farm Business Survey are shown in the table. Comparable data for 1999 are not yet available.

The substantial investment which we propose to make in modernising CAP administration over the next Spending Review period will transform the way in which we deal with CAP payments. Farmers who submit their claims electronically will benefit from faster payment and the 'intelligent' forms will be significantly easier to complete. We are consulting widely on the best ways of ensuring a smooth transition to the new arrangements and helping our customers to reap the benefits with electronic service delivery offers. We will review the arrangements for face-to-face contact with farmers on their CAP subsidy claims when the new IT systems for CAPPA are fully operational and everyone has easy local access to the internet.

In parallel with the establishment of CAPPA, we are restructuring other aspects of our operational activity in the regions to strengthen MAFF's ability to deliver an effective and responsive local service to farmers on the implementation of the England Rural Development Plan.