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Rt Hon David Miliband MP

Secretary of State.

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA),

Nobel House

17 Smith Square

16 Oct 2009





Dear Secretary of State,



My friend, who is in farming at the moment, recently received a cheque for

£3,000 from the Rural Payments Agency for not rearing pigs. I would now like

to join the "not rearing pigs" business.

In your opinion, what is the best kind of farm not to rear pigs on, and

which is the best breed of pigs not to rear? I want to be sure I approach

this endeavour in keeping with all government policies, as dictated by the

EU under the Common Agricultural Policy.

I would prefer not to rear bacon pigs, but if this is not the type you want

not rearing, I will just as gladly not rear porkers. Are there any

advantages in not rearing rare breeds such as Saddlebacks or Gloucester Old

Spots, or are there too many people already not rearing these?

As I see it, the hardest part of this programme will be keeping an accurate

record of how many pigs I haven't reared. Are there any Government or Local

Authority courses on this?



My friend is very satisfied with this business. He has been rearing pigs for

forty years or so, and the best he ever made on them was £1,422 in 1968.

That is - until this year, when he received a cheque for not rearing any.

If I get £3,000 for not rearing 50 pigs, will I get £6,000 for not rearing

100? I plan to operate on a small scale at first, holding myself down to

about 4,000 pigs not raised, which will mean about £240,000 for the first

year. As I become more expert in not rearing pigs, I plan to be more

ambitious, perhaps increasing to, say, 40,000 pigs not reared in my second

year, for which I should expect about £2.4 million from your department.

Incidentally, I wonder if I would be eligible to receive tradable carbon

credits for all these pigs not producing harmful and polluting methane


Another point: These pigs that I plan not to rear will not eat 2,000 tonnes

of cereals. I understand that you also pay farmers for not growing crops.

Will I qualify for payments for not growing cereals to not feed the pigs I

don't rear?



I am also considering the "not milking cows" business, so please send any

information you have on that too. Please could you also include the current

Defra advice on set aside fields? Can this be done on an e-commerce basis

with virtual fields (of which I seem to have several thousand hectares)?



In view of the above you will realise that I will be totally unemployed, and

will therefore qualify for unemployment benefits. I shall of course be

voting for your party at the next general election.



Yours faithfully,

Nigel Johnson-Hill


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