Mr Patsy McGlone (Mid Ulster): To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs how long the Basic Payment Scheme to farmers is guaranteed for.
Minister of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs: As confirmed in the Future Agricultural Policy Decisions for Northern Ireland which I announced on 24 March 2022, a Farm Sustainability Payment (FSP) will be introduced. FSP will initially be the main replacement for the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS). My officials are continuing to develop the framework of FSP and the delivery processes required.
Over time, other agricultural support schemes will be introduced to better meet local needs. These schemes will be designed to help farmers develop their businesses, no matter where they farm to become more productive, profitable and resilient, and to maximise the sustainable returns from the assets at their disposal. At present, I have not finalised the timetable for these changes.
The budget for BPS/FSP and other agricultural support schemes has been guaranteed by HM Treasury for the next three financial years up to 2024-2025 and is ring fenced on an annual basis.