Not much incentive

A PLAN to reward UK farmers switching to organic methods has been criticised for not recognising those already practising organic farming. Under the five-year scheme, the government will pay British farmers who convert to organic methods $104.16 a hectare initially, reducing this to $37.2 a hectare in the last year.

But the Soil Association of UK pointed out the government is doing nothing to help those already practising organic farming. The Association warned the country's agriculture minister Gillian Shephard, "The growing UK market for organic food will be supplied by subsidised organic farmers in Holland, Germany and Denmark." Germany proposes to pay $223.2 a hectare to those practising organic farming and $297.6 to those who convert. The Association noted some organic farmers were reverting to conventional methods because this brought greater rewards.

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