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January 5, 2010 / Malcolm Dalebö

Grow your Own Winning

Plans to boost food production in Britain and reduce its impact on the environment have been unveiled.
The allotment campaigners have met with some success as the government’s 20-year food strategy includes making land available for people to grow their own food and more healthy cooking courses.
The Tories said ministers “belatedly” recognised the need for food security after a decade of declining production.
Environment Secretary Mr Benn unveiled the government’s Food 2030 plan at the Oxford Farming Conference.
The report – aimed at boosting food production, tackling climate change and improving the nation’s health – called on consumers to buy more British food, eat more seasonal food and grow their own fruit and veg.
However, all is still not right, as it also controversially claimed that GM crops had ‘potential’ to help feed the world’s booming population. That battle will rage on.

Despite recent statements from Government ministers suggesting that people should eat less meat and embrace a vegetarian diet, the paper supports livestock farming and states that in the upland areas of the UK it is probably the only economically productive activity.

Nevertheless, the Government is keen to support the current trend for people to grow their own vegetables.
All publicly owned premises have been asked to identify spare land which can be handed over to communities and voluntary groups as allotments.
These organisations will be allowed to take over “meanwhile” leases temporarily to use land that is awaiting development or planning permission for alternative use rather than allow it to be left idle.
Details of a new scheme to match owners with potential users of this land bank are expected next month.
This builds on the offensive from the National Trust, which hopes to establish 1,000 allotments on vacant land on its property within two years.

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