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   As part of its agro-environmental measures, the Commission today approved
   two  programmes  for  the promotion of  agricultural  production  methods
   compatible  with the requirements of the environment and the  maintenance
   of  the  countryside,  submitted for Bavaria and Saxony  by  the  Federal
   Republic of Germany.

   Both  programmes  have  a very wide scope, since they are  aimed  at  all
   farmers and all farmland in both Länder.

   Firstly,  the  Bavarian programme provides for a basic aid  to  encourage
   farmers  to apply certain production methods - such as  fertilization  on
   the basis of soil analyses, the use of pesticides and crop rotation -  in
   a  way  that  minimizes  the  effects  of  "normal"  production  on   the
   environment.  The  objective is to integrate environmental  aspects  into
   all agricultural organization and planning.

   In  addition, the programme provides for various additional premiums  for
   fulfilling  other conditions, e.g. introducing or  maintaining  extensive
   production methods (organic farming, reducing the livestock numbers,  not
   using  mineral  fertilizers  or pesticides) or  maintaining  the  natural
   landscape,  in particular through extensive grazing, using the land in  a
   way adapted to the needs of the environment.

   Finally, the programme proposes measures designed to deal with particular
   problems  (grazing  on  steep  slopes,  management  of  alpine  pastures,
   biotopes,  scattered fruit meadows), as well as twenty-year set-aside  in
   the interests of the environment.

   Saxony's programme also provides for a basic general measure to encourage
   all  farmers  to apply farming methods in ways  that  limit  agricultural
   pollution,  and to limit the increase in production that may result  from
   the  structural  adjustment  of  agriculture  in  this  new   Land.  This
   adjustment   can  thus  be  made  in  a  way  that  directly   integrates
   environmental aspects, with economic compensation for such an approach.

   The  programme  also includes measures relating to  certified  integrated
   crop  cultivation,  organic  farming and  different  forms  of  extensive
   utilization of grassland, as well as other more specific measures.

   In  Bavaria, it is expected that aid will be granted for 2.6  million  ha
   and  costs  are estimated at ECU 276 million over 5 years, to  which  the
   EAGGF  Guarantee Section will contribute 50%.  In Saxony about 1  million
   ha  will  be involved, with  a total cost of ECU 219  million  over  five
   years.  The EAGGF Guarantee Section will contribute 75%.

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