§ Mr. Laurence Robertson
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how she estimates British agriculture is likely to benefit through Pillar 2 funding in the next 12 months. 
§ Mr. Bradshaw
[holding answer 23 June 2003]Pillar 2 of the CAP is aimed at strengthening the agricultural and forestry sectors, improving the competitiveness of rural businesses and preserving the environment and rural heritage. Rural Development Programmes drawn up by EU member states set out how the Pillar 2772W measures, as detailed in the EC Rural Development Regulation, will be implemented over the period 2000 to 2006.
Copies of the England Rural Development Programme (ERDP) and the separate programmes covering Wales and Scotland are in the Library, and they may also be viewed on the websites of the respective Departments. The programmes define the scope and objectives of a number of grant schemes, the expected benefits to the environment, the rural economy and rural communities which are expected to have been secured by the end of the Programmes, together with indicative financial budgets. In the 2003–04 financial year, the total budget allocated to the ERDP is approximately £255 million, of which almost £100 million is from the EU.
The agricultural sector is the principal recipient of ERDP funding, but the benefits will accrue to rural communities as a whole; those benefits accruing to agriculture alone cannot be identified separately.