Farmers offered free workshops to help plan for grant changes

FREE workshops are being held to help farmers and landowners plan for changes to grant payments.
Between 2021 and 2027, the government will reduce and then stop Direct Payments, instead paying farmers to improve the environment, improve animal health and welfare, and reduce carbon emissions.
The first event to help people through the change is set to be held at Bishops Caundle Village Hall on December 14.

The information workshops are being provided as part of the Future Farming Resilience programme, which has expanded this year with an additional £2.6million of funding support from Defra.
Titled, Navigating the Agricultural Transition, the sessions provide a comprehensive overview of the coming changes and the options available as the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) payments are gradually reduced, before stopping altogether in 2027.

Further workshops will follow in the new year covering the whole of Dorset.
Those who attend the workshops and want to explore the impact of the changes on their business in greater depth also have the opportunity to take up the offer of one-to-one business support with experienced advisors.
The support offered through the project is free to any farmer or landowner receiving Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) payments. Farmers will be helped to take advantage of business opportunities, improve the environment, and reduce carbon emissions, the government says.

Cllr Tony Ferrari, Dorset Council’s portfolio holder for economic growth, assets and property, said: “Ceasing of Direct Payments is the biggest change in farm support for generations and all farmers need to think how they will adapt in the near future.
“This workshop will cover the timeline for how the Basic Payment Scheme will be reduced over the next few years, but also provide important information on a number of different schemes that will be available to those affected, as well as options to improve productivity and increase profits.
“I strongly encourage all Dorset farmers and land managers currently in receipt of BPS payments to consider attending one these free workshops and keep an eye out as new sessions are added to the calendar.”

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