Wessex pays for organic farming
Sunday 20 June 1999
The South-west of England utilities company will, from September, offer to pay farmers in eight key areas of its domain up to pounds 40 per hectare over a two-year period for abandoning intensive farming techniques that require fertilisers and pesticides.
"At the moment we are still going through the administration process," said a Wessex spokeswoman. "We are working with the Soil Association and looking for partners."
The annual cost to the UK water industry of meeting government requirements to clean-up water sources after sustained pesticide and chemical nutrient contamination caused by agriculture is put at pounds 150m. Wessex hopes to save on its part of this bill by eradicating contaminants at source.
The company says the capital cost alone of installing water-treatment facilities in the eight areas affected is somewhere between pounds 20m and pounds 30m. Additionally, there would be the costs of operating the new facilities.
Grants from Wessex totalling nearly pounds 1m could be paid to farmers over the two-year period if the take-up rate is 100 per cent. So far, the company says the take-up rate for the scheme is running at 40 per cent.
The money paid by Wessex to the farmers will come on top of a government subsidy of between pounds 350 and pounds 450 per hectare over five years from the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. During the conversion period, farmers are allowed to sell produce but yields do reduce and the MAFF payment is intended to supplement depleted farming incomes during the conversion period.
The eight areas stretch across the South-west from Salisbury to Wincanton and Dorchester. The scheme will be overseen and certified by the Soil Association.
Last summer, Wessex was taken over in agreed bid by Enron Corporation, the Texas-based utilities conglomerate.
- 1 PlayStation and Xbox hacked by Lizard Squad
- 2 Katie Hopkins speaks out on childhood obesity: 'Parents of fat children should be prosecuted for child cruelty'
- 3 The Grace Dent Christmas Questionnaire
- 4 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
- 5 Vagina canoe artist defends herself over ‘obscenity’ charges
PlayStation and Xbox hacked by Lizard Squad
Antonio Martin shooting: Black teenager may have tried to ambush patrolman, says police officer's lawyer
Boxing Day snowfall set to push even more bargain-hunters online for sales
Katie Hopkins speaks out on childhood obesity: 'Parents of fat children should be prosecuted for child cruelty'
The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Alex Salmond has 'broken his word to the Scottish people' says Scottish Lib Dem leader
iJobs Money & Business
Not specified: Selby Jennings: SVP Model Validation This top tiered investment...
Highly Competitive: Selby Jennings: Our client, a leading European Oil trading...
£43500 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: Night Shift Operatio...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000 + Car + Pension: SThree: SThree are a ...