Report suggests fund to encourage green farms

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The Independent Online

A £200m "green farmers' fund" could be paid to farmers friendly to the environment under plans said to have been drawn up by a commission created after the foot-and-mouth epidemic.

Farmers will need to obtain a "licence to farm" to receive payments, under proposals believed to be in the final report of the Commission on the Future of Farming, due to be published next week.

The commission may also propose special payments to support organic farming.

Ministers expect to receive the report on Friday.

A spokesman for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said: "It is obvious that the future of farming is linking food production and environmental protection."