An environmental grant scheme designed to help active farmers to protect and enhance the Island’s landscapes has been approved by Tynwald.
The new Agriculture and Fisheries Grant Scheme 2019 introduces a range of funding options to support active farmers to improve sustainability and enhance biodiversity on their land.
Geoffrey Boot, MHK, Minister for Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture, said the new funding streams will:
‘help deliver a viable and sustainable agriculture sector’.
‘In addition to this strategy which delivers productive agriculture, there is a strong commitment to deliver biodiversity, climate change mitigation, catchment management and Biosphere targets, which are core objectives of the wider Department and Government.’
‘It is likely that once the new climate change action plan is concluded, there will be scope to further expand this scheme to help farmers contribute to reducing agricultural emissions and improve their role in carbon capture, for example through peat restoration and tree planting.’
The amended 2019 scheme gives active farmers access to a wider range of grants covering a host of agricultural and environmental initiatives; including habitat creation, enhancement and protection, wildlife boxes, biennial wild bird seed mix strips as well as educational and upland stewardship initiatives. It all gives support to initiatives that produce cherished landscapes, reduce carbon, improve water quality and reduce flooding.
Earlier this year a public consultation 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.
All active farmers will be eligible to apply for funding from the new scheme.