Farmers in the Isle of Man will have access to a wider range of grants from 1 April with the launch of the Agri-Environment Scheme.
The new scheme introduces targeted funding options that encourage active farmers to implement changes on their land with outcomes that will see an efficient and productive food chain delivered alongside improvements for the environment and actions that will mitigate climate change.
The scheme was approved by Tynwald in December 2019 and includes a host of agricultural and environmental initiatives ranging from habitat creation and tree planting to upland management and flood reduction.
Geoffrey Boot MHK, Minister for the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture (DEFA) said:
‘The scheme can help to deliver a viable, productive and sustainable agriculture sector for years to come while enhancing our cherished landscapes and mitigating climate change.’
‘Our hard working farmers are the custodians of our environment and this targeted support will help them play an even bigger role with payment based on results. It also supports the Island’s climate change goals, encourages habitat creation, boosts bio-diversity and delivers on our UNESCO Biosphere targets, which are core objectives of the wider Department and Government.’
An upland stewardship scheme will also incentivise the creation of a sustainable upland management plan to support the protection of carbon storing peat and the rare and the vulnerable plants and flowers that make the cherished upland areas so special.
All active farmers are eligible to apply and can access the application form online or request a hard copy from DEFA.
A public consultation in 2019 showed 90% of respondents agreed that a new strategy was needed to deliver an agile, sustainable and self-reliant Manx food chain that efficiently and profitably produces a range of high quality foods to feed the Manx nation.