It will be quicker and easier to apply for Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) schemes under a new integrated online payment system, Farming Minister David Heath announced today.
From scheme year 2015, Defra will introduce a single computer system for all CAP funding in England, irrespective of the delivery body the funding was claimed through.
As part of the Farming Regulation Task Force drive to cut red tape in farming, recipients will only have to enter their details once online to a single point of contact rather than for each CAP scheme they apply for.
It will also reduce running costs, improve targeting of farm inspections and make it easier adapt to future changes.
Mr Heath said:
“CAP programmes will probably change considerably over the coming years and we’re making sure we’re in the best possible shape to deal with this change.
“Having one modern, fit for purpose system will make it far quicker and easier for farmers to apply for funding and improve targeting of inspections.
“It’s a genuine example of our work on the Farming Regulation Task Force making a real difference to cutting red tape on the ground.”
As well as the Single Payment Scheme, there are currently 40 different CAP schemes. These are paid out under different computer systems by Defra, the Rural Payments Agency (RPA), Natural England and the Forestry Commission.
Subject to the outcome of the current negotiations on reform of the CAP, each agency will phase-in the new system from 2014, ready for scheme year 2015.
This work is one of the first programmes within the Government’s new digital strategy. Defra will be working to ensure that the system is cost effective, flexible and above all, easy for customers to use.