FINAL details of the new Agriculture Bill have been published by the government.

Introduced last week, DEFRA have announced that the legislation will “provide a boost to the industry after years of inefficient and overly bureaucratic policy dictated to farmers by the EU”.

Replacing the current subsidy system of Direct Payments, which pays farmers for the amount of land farmed, the new bill sets out how farmers and land managers in England will in the future be rewarded with public money for “public goods”. These include better air and water quality, higher animal welfare standards or measures to reduce flooding. This will contribute to the government’s commitment to reaching net zero emissions by 2050.

The government has also promised to invest in food production and stated the bill will safeguard our food security and legally require any UK government to report regularly on food security to Parliament.

Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers described the bill as “one of the most important environmental reforms for many years”.

Ms Villiers said: “We will move away from the EU’s bureaucratic Common Agricultural Policy and towards a fairer system which rewards our hard-working farmers for delivering public goods, celebrating their leading environmental work and innovative, modern approach to food production”

DEFRA also confirmed that Direct Payments will be phased out from 2021.

Later in the agricultural transition, the government plans to ‘delink’ Direct Payments from the requirement to farm the land, a requirement that currently exists under EU law.

The aim is to give farmers greater flexibility to plan for their future as the payments will be able to be used to invest in their business, diversify their activities or help new people enter the sector.