Rural economy – Indice Rural http://indicerural.com/ Fri, 23 Sep 2022 09:39:31 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://indicerural.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/cropped-icon-32x32.png Rural economy – Indice Rural http://indicerural.com/ 32 32 COA Honors Dozens for Advancements in Rural Economy https://indicerural.com/coa-honors-dozens-for-advancements-in-rural-economy/ Thu, 22 Sep 2022 16:00:00 +0000 https://indicerural.com/coa-honors-dozens-for-advancements-in-rural-economy/
  • By Yang Yuan-ting and by Kayleigh Madjar / Journalist, with an editor

Thirty people received the Council of Agriculture (COA) Rural Elite Awards yesterday for their contributions to the life, economy and ecology of rural areas.

Only 30 people were selected from 253 nominees for the award, which is now in its third year, according to council data.

Winners will have the chance to travel to rural areas of Japan to learn from their international peers, the council said.

Photo: Yang Yuan-ting, Taipei Times

The youngest winner is Lee Chih-lun (李誌倫), 31, a co-owner of an organic farming collective in Jhuolan Township (卓蘭) of Miaoli County.

The son of two farmers, Lee received support from the council’s ‘Rural Up’ youth competition nine years ago to start planting bamboo, passion fruit, mushrooms and other crops.

Through this experience, he learned not only about farming, but also about food processing and marketing, the council said.

After graduating from the visual communication and design department of Chaoyang University of Technology, Lee realized he could put his skills to good use as a leader of an agricultural collective.

He worked with 80 partners to create a farm where visitors can camp and experience rural life.

The farm produces more than 100 herbs, spices, fruits and vegetables each year that visitors can eat or use in cooking.

As everything is produced organically for the sake of active ecological restoration, there are many protected animal species, including fireflies.

Most farm workers are in their teens or 20s and come from a wide variety of backgrounds, providing a friendly atmosphere for visitors, Lee said.

With the exception of the partial Level 3 lockdown last year, Lee said the farm has seen around 30% more visitors on weekdays than before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Now that the borders are about to reopen, Lee said he was excited to introduce international tourists to rural Taiwanese culture.

Another recipient, Chen Yu-chai (陳玉釵), is the director of Keliao (蚵寮) community in Kouhu Township (口湖) of Yunlin County.

In addition to promoting local products and helping farmers grow their customer base, Chen also established a rural community center in the former pigsty of his home.

Twelve years ago, she transformed the pigsty into a “Keliao school”, offering after-school care and guidance to children, as well as activities and meals for the elderly.

The center has since become a group home for children and the elderly in the community, the council said.

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CoBank: Off-farm income is important for agriculture and the rural economy https://indicerural.com/cobank-off-farm-income-is-important-for-agriculture-and-the-rural-economy/ Tue, 20 Sep 2022 15:11:37 +0000 https://indicerural.com/cobank-off-farm-income-is-important-for-agriculture-and-the-rural-economy/

(NDAgConnection.com) – The growing reliance of American farmers and ranchers on off-farm employment and income reveals the growing economic interconnectedness of rural communities and surrounding cities. According to a study by researchers at the University of Missouri, 82% of US farm household income now comes from non-farm sources. The study was commissioned by CoBank and carried out in partnership with CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange.

Most farmers cited reliable income as the main reason for off-farm employment, as half of farm households have negative farm income in a typical year. Health and pension benefits were also cited as the main reasons for off-farm employment in farm households.

One of the key findings of the study is that rural communities have increasingly diversified economies and that success within the agricultural sector of a rural community is largely dependent on other sectors of the regional economy in its together. Today, only 6.5% of workers in rural counties are employed in agriculture, down from 15.4% in 1970. The main source of employment in rural areas is the service sector, which accounts for 57.4 % of all jobs. The majority of residents of agriculture-dependent counties travel to jobs outside of their home county. As a result, rural and urban communities have come closer together economically as workers and businesses interact across multiple counties.

“The rural economy has become more diverse and complex than it was just 15 years ago,” said Dan Kowalski, Vice President of Knowledge Exchange at CoBank. “What this means for those of us who serve rural communities is that we need to evolve our understanding of what drives rural economies and what these communities need to succeed and thrive. In many cases, the historical concept of “rural” no longer applies.

In 2019, the population of non-metropolitan or rural counties was 46 million, or 14% of the US population. The bulk of this population, 30 million or 65%, lived in counties adjacent to metropolitan areas. The close ties between metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties reflect how the country’s urban and rural communities have come closer together economically and geographically over the past 50 years.

Population loss was a challenge for counties that remained dependent on agriculture and were less able to diversify their economies. Counties that relied on agriculture in 2015 had seen their population decline by 4% between 1974 and 2019, on average. Conversely, counties that were not dependent on agriculture in 2015 had increased their population by 55% over the same period.

Off-farm jobs are especially important for young farmers and beginning farmers who are building their businesses. Debt-to-equity analysis and other research show that off-farm employment reduces financial risk, which is especially important for young farmers who face higher debt needs as they grow older. grow their business.

The study concludes that economically resilient rural communities have a regionally connected workforce and diverse industries to support a range of employment opportunities. These communities are better placed to support young farmers and mainholders.

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£883m shortfall in rural economy https://indicerural.com/883m-shortfall-in-rural-economy/ Tue, 20 Sep 2022 13:41:15 +0000 https://indicerural.com/883m-shortfall-in-rural-economy/
The Mid Devon Advertiser reports that farmers in the South West are being warned of an ‘economic shock’ as research from the Countryside and Community Research Institute (CCRI) has predicted the rural economy will lose up to £883m by 2027.

This was attributed to financial gaps in the transition from support received from the Common Agricultural Policy to the Sustainable Agriculture Replacement Initiative.

The report was undertaken by CCRI at the University of Gloucestershire with support from the National Center for Rural Enterprise Innovation.

The report suggests that with the rural economy having up to £440million less to spend on materials and services, there will be a significant knock-on effect for all jobs and businesses in the South West.

The report found that the rural economy of Devon and the South West is particularly vulnerable to the financial impact, as many local farms are often family run, and agriculture being a major driver of the region’s economy, The anticipated impact on sector supply chains, producers, suppliers, business owners and workers is widespread.

Full article:

The Middle Devon Announcer – £883m shortfall in rural economy

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Off-farm income is increasingly important to the agricultural and rural economy https://indicerural.com/off-farm-income-is-increasingly-important-to-the-agricultural-and-rural-economy/ Mon, 19 Sep 2022 16:28:49 +0000 https://indicerural.com/off-farm-income-is-increasingly-important-to-the-agricultural-and-rural-economy/

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DENVER, Sept. 19, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The growing reliance of American farmers and ranchers on off-farm employment and income reveals the growing economic interconnectedness of rural communities and surrounding cities. According to a study by researchers at the University of Missouri, 82% of US farm household income now comes from non-farm sources. The study was commissioned by CoBank and carried out in partnership with CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange.

Most farmers cited reliable income as the main reason for off-farm employment, as half of farm households have negative farm income in a typical year. Health and pension benefits were also cited as the main reasons for off-farm employment in farm households.

One of the key findings of the study is that rural communities have increasingly diversified economies and that success within the agricultural sector of a rural community is largely dependent on other sectors of the regional economy in its together. Today, only 6.5% of workers in rural counties are employed in agriculture, down from 15.4% in 1970. The main source of employment in rural areas is the service sector, which accounts for 57.4 % of all jobs. The majority of residents of agriculture-dependent counties travel to jobs outside of their home county. As a result, rural and urban communities have come closer together economically as workers and businesses interact across multiple counties.

“The rural economy has become more diverse and complex than it was just 15 years ago,” said Dan Kowalski, vice president of CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange. “What this means for those of us who serve rural communities is that we need to evolve our understanding of what drives rural economies and what these communities need to succeed and thrive. In many cases, the historical concept of “rural” no longer applies.

In 2019, the population of non-metropolitan or rural counties was 46 million, or 14% of the US population. The bulk of this population, 30 million or 65%, lived in counties adjacent to metropolitan areas. The close ties between metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties reflect how the country’s urban and rural communities have come closer together economically and geographically over the past 50 years.

Population loss was a challenge for counties that remained dependent on agriculture and were less able to diversify their economies. Counties that relied on agriculture in 2015 had seen their population decline by 4% between 1974 and 2019, on average. Conversely, counties that were not dependent on agriculture in 2015 had increased their population by 55% over the same period.

Off-farm jobs are especially important for young farmers and beginning farmers who are building their businesses. Debt-to-equity analysis and other research show that off-farm employment reduces financial risk, which is especially important for young farmers who face higher debt needs as they grow older. grow their business.

The study concludes that economically resilient rural communities have a regionally connected workforce and diverse industries to support a range of employment opportunities. These communities are better placed to support young farmers and mainholders.

Read the report, The importance of off-farm income for the agricultural economy.

About CoBank

CoBank is a cooperative bank serving vital industries across rural America. The bank provides loans, leases, export financing and other financial services to agribusinesses and rural electricity, water and communications providers in all 50 states. The bank also provides wholesale loans and other financial services to affiliated agricultural credit associations serving more than 76,000 farmers, ranchers and other rural borrowers in 23 states nationwide.

CoBank is a member of the Farm Credit System, a national network of banks and retail lending associations licensed to serve the borrowing needs of agriculture, rural infrastructure and rural American communities. Based out of Denver, Colorado, CoBank serves clients in regional banking centers across the United States and also has an international representative office in Singapore.

Corporate Communications
CoBank
800-542-8072
[email protected]

Source: CoBank

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Govt. kick-starts the revival of the rural economy; food safety https://indicerural.com/govt-kick-starts-the-revival-of-the-rural-economy-food-safety/ Tue, 13 Sep 2022 21:14:02 +0000 https://indicerural.com/govt-kick-starts-the-revival-of-the-rural-economy-food-safety/

  • The President officiates at the launch of multi-sectoral combined mechanism to empower rural economic revitalization centers to ensure food security and nutrition
  • Says no citizen should starve for lack of food
  • 7 food safety committees
  • Prioritizing the eradication of malnutrition
  • Fertilizers at reasonable prices for farmers
  • Continuity of agricultural inputs for a successful season
  • Plans to meet local food needs by 2025







President Ranil Wickremesinghe



The multi-sector mechanism to empower rural economic revitalization centers to achieve food security and nutrition was launched yesterday under the patronage of President Ranil Wickremesinghe. The vision of the government’s food security program is to ensure that every citizen has access to enough food at a reasonable price to lead an active and healthy life, regardless of the country’s situation.


The government launched this program with the aim of achieving the twin goals of ensuring that no citizen of the country starves to death from lack of food and no child falls victim to malnutrition. In order to achieve this dual objective, it is necessary to protect all families in the country against poverty.

The relevant mechanism has been implemented through seven committees while the National Food Security and Nutrition Council will operate under the chairmanship of the President.

The Joint National Mechanism on Food Security and Nutrition will operate under the chairmanship of the Secretary to the President while the Technical Advisory Committee on Food Security and Nutrition will be chaired by the Secretary of the Prime Minister.

The Provincial Joint Food Security and Nutrition Mechanism will operate under the chairmanship of the Provincial Governors while the District Joint Food Security and Nutrition Mechanism will be chaired by the District Secretaries. The Combined Regional Mechanism on Food Security and Nutrition should be implemented under the chairmanship of the Division Secretaries.

The Rural Economic Revitalization Centers will include Grama Niladhari, Development Officer, Agricultural Research and Production Assistant, Samurdhi Niyamaka Niladhari, Midwife, Principal of the nearest school and two representatives from the local government institution.

This program will operate under the leadership of President Ranil Wickremesinghe under the instructions of the President’s Food Security Advisor, Dr. Suren Batagoda, joined by the entire machinery of government, Prime Minister and Secretary to the President at Grama Niladari , the private sector, non-governmental organizations, professionals and religious leaders.

It is planned to locally produce 3.6 million metric tons of the country’s total rice requirements, 50% of the annual onion requirements and 35% of the potato requirements.

It is also planned to produce 20% of the annual soybean requirements of 250,000 metric tons in the country by 2025, 20% of the dry chilli requirements to be produced locally by 2025 and all of the cowpea, green bean , peas, sesame. seeds and peanuts to be produced locally by 2025.

It is expected to produce this year 80% of the 650,000 metric tons of corn needed annually for the development of livestock such as eggs and poultry meat. By 2025, Sri Lanka is expected to locally increase all of its maize requirements.

Currently, steps have been taken to import 230,000 metric tons of urea, 100,000 metric tons of TSP and 182,000 metric tons of MOP required for the production of wheat and maize during the Maha season under the line of credit from the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and India. import the fertilizers necessary for the production of other food crops with the contribution of the private sector.

Facilities are to be provided to purchase agrochemicals and organic fertilizers from the market without shortage and it is planned to supply a 50 kg packet of urea at a fair price below the current market price.

The government has already launched the mechanism to supply the chemical fertilizers, organic fertilizers, agrochemicals and seeds to the farmers through the market at the right time to make the 2022 season a success.

It is planned to bring the products of the agriculture and livestock sector to the production level of the year 2018 and the necessary agricultural inputs, including seeds, chemicals, chemical fertilizers, animal feed and fuel, will be provided in sufficient quantity.

To achieve these production goals, it is planned to use modern and advanced irrigation systems and technologies. It is also planned to reach the production of the agriculture and livestock sector to the levels recorded in 2018 and sufficient quantities of agricultural inputs such as seeds, chemicals, chemical fertilizers, animal feed and fuel will be provided to achieve this goal.

Modern advanced irrigation systems and technologies should be used to achieve production targets. The concept of government fertilization should be popularized in the plantations, thereby increasing the productivity of production.

Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena, Minister of Agriculture, Wildlife and Forest Conservation Mahinda Amaraweera, Secretary to the President Saman Ekanayake, Presidential Advisor for National Food Security Dr. Suren Batagoda and government officials , including governors, ministry secretaries, district secretaries, provincial chief secretaries, bank and company presidents were present at the inauguration.



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Boosting the rural economy with start-up village entrepreneurship https://indicerural.com/boosting-the-rural-economy-with-start-up-village-entrepreneurship/ Sat, 10 Sep 2022 21:23:41 +0000 https://indicerural.com/boosting-the-rural-economy-with-start-up-village-entrepreneurship/

This new wave of educated rural youth is a challenge for policymakers to formulate policy that speaks to the broad masses of the rural population.

Rural poverty and inequality are significant obstacles to building an egalitarian society. Even after 75 years of independence, it is a big challenge because a large part of the rural population depends on agriculture.

Searching for a way to economically empower rural India, a well-known management consultant, CK Prahalad, coined the word “bottom of the pyramid future” (BOP), eradicating poverty through profits.

Prahalad highlighted the challenges of rural poverty, which must be addressed by multinational enterprises (MNEs). A book was also published under the same name with innovative and fruitful ideas from the bottom of the pyramid.

Even today, the reach of multinational corporations among the highly heterogeneous rural population remains a distant dream. The horizon of Indian rural market is so vast that penetration of services and products is only possible through indigenous village entrepreneurs. And as a result, the concept and importance of village entrepreneurs are now being taken into consideration by policy makers, with the much-discussed rural economy now coming into the limelight.

India’s rural economy is facing an agrarian crisis due to poverty, unemployment and migration. India’s village economy is unsustainable, which is a big challenge for policy makers, and there are many reasons. Even after 75 years of independence, rural youth are struggling for jobs and a decent standard of living. The lack of jobs creates a migration of the rural population towards the urban cities. However, the government’s education campaign for rural youth has motivated them.

Due to the increasing literacy rate among rural youth, they are looking for holistic employment. Technological progress in the agricultural sector has changed the dimensions of the dependence of rural and marginal workers on agricultural sectors. Rural youth envision their careers in entrepreneurship, services and self-employment. This new wave of educated rural youth is a challenge for policymakers and government to formulate policy that speaks to the broad masses of the rural population. The startup village entrepreneurship program is the gem among all whose programs to solve the agrarian crisis.

The Startup Village Entrepreneurship Program (SVEP) is a program announced in the budget and was approved by the Minister of Rural Development, Government of India on May 6, 2015, as a sub-programme under the DAY- NRLM and Directive was published on June 15, 2015.

Deendayal antodaya Yojana (DAY-NRLM) has been centrally sponsored and implemented since May 2013. The main objective of the mission is to eradicate rural poverty through an innovative implementation strategy involving four main components, to namely (1) social mobilization and community institution building. ; (2) financial inclusion; (3) promoting livelihoods; (4) convergence and social development.

The SVEP proposes to respond to the three major problems of start-ups. Through the program, rural entrepreneurs will receive the technical support needed to make businesses (existing and newly promoted) profitable by addressing the ecosystem vis-à-vis (i) a missing knowledge ecosystem, (ii ) a missing incubation ecosystem; and (iii) a missing financial ecosystem.

The SVEP program is a four-level structure ranging from the federation at the cluster level to the village organization through the self-help group and finally reaching the beneficiary members. This four-tier structure provides an implementation roadmap for SVEP to block resource centers.

The SVEP is implemented in project mode through Executing Agencies (AIP). The PIAs include the State Rural Livelihood Mission (SRLM), a federation of higher level SHGs and an NGO/NRO with a good track record in promoting rural livelihoods. The current central support model for SVEP projects is 60:40 (Central-State). The ceiling for the administrative costs of the SVEP project is 6% of the total approved budget. The SVEP aims to enable the rural poor to start businesses through the support of Community Resource Persons (CRPs) at the village level. It helps rural entrepreneurs obtain finance to start their businesses from the National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM), Self-Help Groups (SHGs), banks and federation at the cluster level. There are a few conditions that entrepreneurs must justify in order to receive the benefits of this program. These conditions are that the contractor must either be a member of the self-help groups working in the blocks of a selected district or a member of their family, preferably a woman.

One of the mid-term reviews conducted by the Quality Council of India in 2019 highlights that 75% of businesses were managed and owned by women. We believe that achieving social inclusion is one of the core ideas of the National Rural Livelihoods Mission Satisfied, as the sampled entrepreneurs in the blocks reported being in the SC, ST and OBC categories, which amounted to 82%.

The number of companies supported under the SVEP from 2018-19 to 2020-2021 is 1,34,475. The scope of block development is flourishing. The start was with just 125 blocks across the country; in 2021-2022 it was 205 blocks. A total of 19 blocks are being implemented in Uttar Pradesh, which held the top spot; the second is Jharkhand, with 18 blocks being implemented. Policymakers should focus on this large segment of the rural population through an innovative income-generating entrepreneurship model. SVEP is poised to transform the lives of the rural poor, and women entrepreneurs have demonstrated their leadership capabilities.

(Prof Narendra Kumar is Chairman of the Center for Policy Studies; Arvind Arahant is Associate Professor at the School of Management & Entrepreneurship, both at JNU, New Delhi)

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Mainstreet Index tracks the ups and downs of the rural economy | Company https://indicerural.com/mainstreet-index-tracks-the-ups-and-downs-of-the-rural-economy-company/ Fri, 09 Sep 2022 14:30:00 +0000 https://indicerural.com/mainstreet-index-tracks-the-ups-and-downs-of-the-rural-economy-company/

Ernie Goss has a finger on the pulse of the economy in the Midwest, but that doesn’t mean the Creighton University economist thinks he knows exactly what’s going to happen.

“One of the defining characteristics of the agricultural economy is that it is volatile. It has its ups and downs,” says Goss. “Predictions are always revised as facts change.”

The facts certainly continue to change this year, as they have for a number of years, Goss says. But he’s still working to try to understand what’s happening in the rural Midwest as part of Creighton University’s Rural Main Street Economic Index.

The index was launched in 2006 and surveys rural bankers in small towns in 10 states. The average community in the survey is only 1,300 people, and although the survey focuses on bankers and looks at the rural economy rather than the agricultural economy directly, it can be difficult to separate the two, said Goss.

There are several issues plaguing the rural economy right now, Goss says.

Commodity prices are still very good, but slightly weaker than at the start of the year. Drought conditions in the western United States and the western part of the corn belt are a real problem for farmers.

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And there are still plenty of issues with retail and commercial businesses trying to find labor and deal with supply chain issues (although those things have improved a bit). For example, there is always a shortage of truck drivers.

All of these had an impact on the rural economy, especially west of the Mississippi.

The war in Ukraine is also a factor, but more in the corn market than in the soybean market.

“Most Americans don’t understand that agriculture is a very global economic sector,” he says. “What happens in Ukraine is telegraphed to the economy of North Dakota, South Dakota and Nebraska.”

There are several other potential problems, but they do not appear to be major issues for the rural economy at this time.

This list includes a higher dollar, which could impact exports, and higher interest rates, which could impact borrowers. But Goss says most farmers entered the year in good financial shape and most bankers started the year in an optimistic mood. These things are still the case, although drought and war have had negative impacts on the economy.

Due to these various trends, the mood regarding the economy in rural areas has deteriorated in recent months, but there is no panic. It’s certainly not a situation like the one that hit farmers in the 1980s, he says.

The August survey fell for a fifth consecutive month, falling below neutral growth for a third consecutive month. The region’s overall reading for August fell to 44.0 from July’s 46.0. The index ranges between 0 and 100 with a reading of 50.0 representing neutral growth.

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New PM Liz Truss needs to ‘really improve’ the rural economy https://indicerural.com/new-pm-liz-truss-needs-to-really-improve-the-rural-economy/ Fri, 09 Sep 2022 08:30:26 +0000 https://indicerural.com/new-pm-liz-truss-needs-to-really-improve-the-rural-economy/

New Prime Minister Liz Truss must go further than any previous administration and “really improve” the rural economy.

The new government should include the rural economy at the “heart of government policy in these trying times”, the Country Land and Business Association (CLA) said.

There is an 18% productivity gap between the rural economy and the national average after “years of neglect”.

Closing the gap would add £43billion to the UK economy, according to the rural organisation.

The reasons for low campaign productivity are complex, but major contributors include poor digital connectivity, the scheduling system, bureaucracy and decades of underinvestment.

Rural campaigners say measures such as a simpler tax system and more investment in rural skills would help close the productivity gap.

Mark Tufnell, CLA President, said: “No Prime Minister in the past 20 years has had an ambitious strategy for the rural economy. That has to change.”

A new £110million support package announced last weekend to support rural businesses is “a good start”, but he said it “still does not fully address the challenges faced by rural businesses “.

“As PM, Liz Truss must aim for growth, detailing her plans to bring real planning reform, full connectivity, a simpler tax system for diversified businesses.

“An upheaval of Whitehall [must] encourage interdepartmental cooperation,” Mr. Tufnell said.

“Otherwise, his party risks losing the hearts and minds of 12 million rural voters.”

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Scotland’s rural economy ‘overlooked’ in new government agenda https://indicerural.com/scotlands-rural-economy-overlooked-in-new-government-agenda/ Wed, 07 Sep 2022 08:47:05 +0000 https://indicerural.com/scotlands-rural-economy-overlooked-in-new-government-agenda/

The Scottish Government’s new agenda for government does not provide enough action to foster rural economic growth, Scottish Land & Estates (SLE) has warned.

Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon outlined her government’s future plans on Tuesday 6 September, with a particular focus on tackling the cost of living crisis.

She announced a series of measures including a rent freeze for social and private tenants, an increase in Scottish Child Payment and an extension of free school meals.

But SLE, Scotland’s rural business organization, has warned that the rural sector has been “neglected” in the government’s new agenda.

The body said the omission of a new farm bill would add to the uncertainty facing farmers and land-based businesses.

Sarah-Jane Laing, chief executive of SLE, said: “Very few of the measures proposed would help the rural economy and communities thrive.

“While there have been mentions of growth, future actions under the program appear to offer little to advance the much-discussed post-Covid economic recovery.”

The rent freeze announced by the government is likely to aggravate existing structural and supply problems with the private rental sector, she said, and could impact required investment in energy efficiency measures .

“Rural housing estates provide a huge supply of affordable housing, often significantly outstripping the supply from councils and housing associations,” Ms Laing added.

“The ban on evictions also appears to be a disproportionate response given that it already requires the approval of a court that takes full account of the personal circumstances of tenants.”

Farms were also facing a period of uncertainty, with Ms Laing saying omitting a new Farm Bill from the agenda would mean they would have less time to prepare for new state support rules , which are expected to come into force by 2025.

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£110million earmarked for grants to boost England’s rural economy https://indicerural.com/110million-earmarked-for-grants-to-boost-englands-rural-economy/ Mon, 05 Sep 2022 10:37:05 +0000 https://indicerural.com/110million-earmarked-for-grants-to-boost-englands-rural-economy/

A new £110million Rural England Prosperity Fund (REPF) has been announced by Defra, to support projects that will boost the rural economy and create jobs.

Farms looking to diversify could benefit from the funding, with grants likely to be available to help convert farm buildings to other uses, including visitor accommodation or event spaces.

Other eligible projects will include those that support rural communities, such as investing in the establishment of digital infrastructure hubs in village halls, pubs and post offices and the creation of new footpaths and cycle paths.

See also: New grants this year for rural communities and businesses

REPF funding, which effectively replaces the former Leader and Growth Programmes, will be available from April 2023 to March 2025 and will be provided by local authorities.

The REPF is a complement to the £2.6 billion UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF), which aims to support productivity and prosperity in parts of the country that need it most.

Additional investment to support rural areas will also be available under the UKSPF.

Rural Affairs Minister Lord Benyon said the new rural fund would help close the rural productivity gap and improve opportunities in the countryside.

Productivity gap

The announcement comes as the government issues a Deliver for rural England report, which concludes that while progress has been made in some areas, such as improving digital connectivity, there is still a long way to go.

The report explains how the government is working to close the rural productivity gap, which has fallen from 90% of the English average in 2001 to 83% in 2019.

Mark Tufnell, chairman of the CLA, said the government had taken its first steps towards delivering a plan that would create economic growth in the countryside.

“Finally, the UK government is showing some ambition for the campaign,” he said.

“Improving productivity in the rural economy could be worth up to £43bn of GVA [gross value added] – so the £110m fund will be money well spent.

Minette Batters, president of the NFU, agreed that the new funding would help the development and growth of rural businesses.

“It is also promising that the government is looking at its leveling targets through a rural lens and training civil servants in rural proofing,” she said.

“This will help ensure that leveling policies work for those who live and work in rural areas, enabling rural communities to provide even more when it comes to producing climate-friendly food, providing greater access to the great British countryside which is emblematic and contributes to the national economy. »

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