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Defra introduces single integrated system for CAP funding

David Bicknell Published 22 January 2013

'Digital' strategy approach intended to make it simpler for farmers to apply for funding


The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) plans to introduce a new IT system for Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) funding in the UK.

The system, to be introduced for the scheme for 2015, will see Defra introduce a single computer system for all CAP funding in England irrespective of the delivery body the funding is claimed through. The use of a new integrated online system should make it quicker and easier to apply for CAP schemes.

This work is one of the first programmes within the Government's new digital strategy. Defra said it will be working to ensure that the system is cost effective, flexible and easy for its customers to use.

According to farming minister David Heath, as part of the Farming Regulation Task Force's drive to cut red tape in farming, recipients will only have to enter their details once online to a single point of contact rather than for each CAP scheme they apply for.

The goal is that that will also reduce running costs, improve targeting of farm inspections and make it easier to adapt to future changes.

Heath said: "CAP programmes will probably change considerably over the coming years and we're making sure we're in the best possible shape to deal with this change. Having one modern, fit for purpose system will make it far quicker and easier for farmers to apply for funding and improve targeting of inspections.

"It's a genuine example of our work on the Farming Regulation Task Force making a real difference to cutting red tape on the ground."

Currently, as well as the Single Payment Scheme, there are 40 different CAP schemes, which are all paid out under different computer systems by Defra, the Rural Payments Agency (RPA), Natural England and the Forestry Commission.

Subject to the outcome of the current negotiations on reform of the CAP, each agency is set to phase in the new system from 2014, ready for the 'scheme year' 2015.

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