Farming systems, subsidies and sustainability.
The success of conventional agriculture in producing plentiful food at a consistently low price has given rise to wider concerns about the production techniques employed. These techniques are often characterised by their overall philosophy, conventional being to maximise profitability. Integrated to optimise the use of inputs while the organic system attempts to work alongside biological systems rather than seek to dominate them. Each system has both merits and flaws, but it is the latter which has focussed consumer and government attentions, particularly since farmers receive considerable subsidy payments. At present these subsidies do little to contribute to societies' aspirations for agriculture. This paper identifies areas which could continue to deliver support to farmers but tied to improved environmental performance.