Catalogue description Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food: Registered Files: Schemes for Small Farmers (SSF Series)

Search within or browse this series to find specific records of interest.

Date range

Details of MAF 272
Reference: MAF 272
Title: Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food: Registered Files: Schemes for Small Farmers (SSF Series)

Files relating to the Small Farmer Scheme of 1959 and its successor the Small Farm (Business Management) Scheme, which provided financial and other assistance to farmers with a view to improving the efficient management of their farms.

Date: 1956-1972

Arranged by former reference (file number) order.

Related material:

Records relating to subsidies and grants are in MAF 55

Records dealing with the Marginal Production Scheme are in the MP series files; see MAF 187

Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Former reference in its original department: SSF file series
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English
Physical description: 90 file(s)
Access conditions: Subject to 30 year closure unless otherwise stated
Administrative / biographical background:

The Marginal Production Scheme, concerned with the efficient farming and improvement of marginal land, expired at the end of August 1957 but was extended with some modification for a further year. In its place the Agriculture (Small Farmers) Act 1959 enabled ministers to introduce new schemes which included special provision for making small farms more viable.

1) The Small Farmer Schemes 1959 provided special financial help to farm businesses. An essential basis for aid was the carrying out of an approved farm business plan, covering a period of 3-5 years and designed to raise the economic efficiency of the farm business.

2) An alternative supplementary scheme offered some form of assistance where an approved programme was not immediately practicable or where some marginal producers were ineligible for the main scheme.

Eligibility for the schemes required not less than 20 and not more than 100 acres of crops and grass and, given existing cropping and stocking, a standard labour requirement of at least 250 and not more than 450 standard man-days. Applicants under the 1959 scheme (as amended by a subsequent 1962 scheme) had to submit proposals for a farm business plan between 1 January 1959 and 31 July 1962 and under the 1962 scheme (as amended by the Small Farm (Business Management) Scheme 1965) between 1 August 1962 and 31 December 1965. Under the 1965 scheme proposals had to be submitted between 1 September 1965 and 31 August 1968.

In 1968 the scheme was extended for one year and again in 1969 and it terminated on 31 August 1970. The 1965 and subsequent schemes embodied a change of emphasis away from husbandry operations as such towards encouragement to keep records in order to improve the standard of business management in small farms.

Have you found an error with this catalogue description?

Help with your research