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11 minutes
First broadcast:
Monday 16 December 2013

The rural economy is at risk because too much emphasis is put on farming and tourism. Professor Mark Shucksmith from Newcastle University says governments across Europe need to take other rural businesses more seriously. And money from the common agricultural policy should be used to help.

His comments come as ministers in England are expected to make an announcement on how much money they'll switch from direct subsidy payments to farmers, and into rural development projects.

However, the Country Land and Business Association says that the English Government should not move the maximum 15% of direct subsidy payments into the agri-environment and enterprise pot - or pillar 2. They want to see the Government transfer 9% to protect the money that's given directly to farmers as part of their Single Farm payment.

Many smallholders are also set to lose out financially as the rules on who can claim farm subsidy are changed as the government increases the minimum amount of land needed to be able to claim from one hectare to five hectares, that's an extra 12 acres.

And in the village of Porlock in Somerset, residents are looking to restore the historic oyster farming areas along the harbour.

Presented by Charlotte Smith and produced by Jules Benham.


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