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LWA response to Countryside Productivity Small Grants Scheme

LWA response to Countryside Productivity Small Grants Scheme consultationge
16/08/2019 lwaadmin4

LWA response to Countryside Productivity Small Grants Scheme consultation

After consultation with members, the LWA has launched a new policy document “Improving Small Farm Productivity: A response to the consultation on the Countryside Productivity Small Grants Scheme.” 
The document outlines how the Countryside Productivity Small Grants Scheme can be configured to improve the productivity levels of smaller scale, agroecological farms providing food for domestic markets through short supply chains.
The document highlights the key barriers to increasing productivity for smaller-scale agroecological farms; outlines a number of measures that would make productivity grants more accessible to the small-medium scale farms that need them most; and elaborates on the LWA’s proposals to re-define productivity in the context of sustainability, environment and food production
In the past many grant schemes have failed to provide support for those farmers that need it most. Grant conditions which require producers to pick equipment from a specified list, that exclude standard or second hand equipment, that require a large investment from the farmer and that are paid in arrears all tend to benefit the larger, more capitalised farmers who are less likely to really need these schemes. With these proposals we aim to reorientate productivity support and overcome barriers farmers face in accessing relevant schemes.
Jyoti Fernandes, LWA policy coordinator said:
“We firmly believe that the systems of agriculture and marketing employed by “best practice” farms could be replicated and multiplied through appropriate governmental financial support and training. A well designed Countryside Productivity scheme, providing smaller grants with upfront funding for standard and second-hand equipment for both rural and urban farms of all sizes could make a huge difference!”
“Productivity is not just about yield over all else, it is about using resources efficiently. The definition in the agriculture bill reflects this. It is especially important to move away from definitions of productivity that are per labour unit. Productive farms can provide environmental and social benefits, such as biodiversity conservation, improved water and air quality, and access to local, fresh, and culturally appropriate food.”
Download “Improving Small Farm Productivity: A response to the consultation on the Countryside Productivity Small Grants Scheme”

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