What is the New Lump Sum Exit Scheme?
The new government initiative is set to support farmers who are looking to leave the industry and aims to help create an efficient exit strategy for farmers by providing lump sum payments.
As part of the deal, farmers will have to relinquish their rights to their property/land and in return are expected to either rent or sell in order to create opportunities for farmers wishing to expand their businesses.
Signifying the biggest changes to farming in 50 years, this is part of developments that have been set out in the Agricultural Transition Plan, a plan for a fairer system of farming that works in the best interests of farmers now we are outside the Common Agricultural Policy.
The government has also been working in partnership with industry leaders to establish the New Entrants Capital Grant Scheme to create real prospects for new farmers. The Basic Payments Scheme currently offers poor value for money based on how much land a farmer has, which increases rent and can stand in the way of new applicants.
What is the process for the Lump Sum Exit Scheme?
With more than 3,000 farmers across the sector testing and trialling the new approach, the Lump Sum Exit Scheme is due to open in April 2022 and the application period will run until the end of September 2022. The payment will be based on the average direct payments made to the farmer for the 2019 to 2021 Basic Payment Scheme years. This reference figure will be capped at £42,500 and multiplied by 2.35 to calculate the lump sum, meaning that farmers could receive up to around £100,000.
Environment Secretary George Eustice said:
“Those of us who grew up with farming know the emotional connection farmers have with their land and the decision to retire or to exit the industry can be extremely difficult and is frequently postponed.”
“The purpose of The Lump Sum Exit Scheme is to assist farmers who want to exit the industry to do so in a planned way and provide them with the means to make a meaningful choice about their future. The Scheme will also free up land for new entrants to farming and those who want to expand their businesses.”