The new Rural Economy Strategy 2017 to 2021 focuses on economic and environmental sustainability in the countryside. It proposes new policies to keep pace with changes in the rural economy and promote growth in the sector, to protect Jersey’s environment, and to ensure the impact of rural business on the wider environment and society is considered.
Minister for the Environment, Deputy Steve Luce said “Jersey’s rural economy is the backbone of our history, culture, habitat and landscape, our international reputation and our local sense of identity. The Rural Economy Strategy 2017 to 2021 takes account of a substantial amount of other work to protect and enhance our environment, such as the Countryside Access Strategy, the Coastal National Park Management Plan, and efforts to improve our water quality in the Water Management Plan, and it gives us a solid framework for a sustainable future.”
Aims of the strategy
The Rural Economy Strategy 2017 to 2021 is in line with the States-agreed strategic aim of productivity-led growth across all Jersey’s economic sectors and improving environmental sustainability.
Its aims are to:
•change the current rural financial support mechanism from a payment based on the area farmed model to performance-based model
•change the current ‘contract’ with farmers and adopt a direct ‘procurement of public goods’ approach
•ensure policy measures incentivise the most economically and environmentally sustainable approaches to farming in Jersey
•evaluate the providers and beneficiaries of the Island’s ecosystem services and use this evidence to inform policy development in the countryside
•support the Water Plan in achieving a 10-15% reduction in nitrogen fertiliser application.
•improve productivity by encouraging mechanisation and to continue to reduce imported labour requirements
•outsource rural services that sit better outside of government
•explore alternative high-value, low-volume export crops that reduce environmental loading of chemicals and allow crop rotations to reduce levels of crop pests and diseases and subsequently pesticide use
•protect biodiversity and natural capital