British agriculture minister Lord Whitty has vowed that economic subsidies for food production will become obsolete.

At the Mid-Somerset Show, near Shepton Mallet, he warned farmers that they should be prepared to adapt accordingly if they are to prosper.

Lord Whitty said that the current system of farming subsidies, dictated by the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), needs to be changed. The EU spends £25bn (US$36.1bn) every year subsidising food production and in the future government support for farming will be directed at encouraging animal welfare and environmental protection, he said.

“Market support and direct payments are blunt, inefficient instruments, which constrain farmers from reacting positively to market pressures,” he argued.