The Welsh Government has stated that it will continue to support farmers post-Brexit but in a much smarter way, that was the message from Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Planning and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths, to the NFU Cymru annual conference.
The Alliance has stated that 'The WTA supports our farmers and is keen that our precious historic landscape is maintained as a key resource for our Visitors to Wales. Whatever the future holds, beyond the transition periods, we will continue to recognise the agricultural community and other land manager’s huge contribution to our tourism product'.
Over 12,000 responses were received to the consultation on proposals for a new Land Management Programme, to replace the Common Agricultural Policy in Wales. The Cabinet Secretary confirmed that changes to how the Welsh Government supports farmers will not be rushed and made three commitments:
no decisions will be taken until all consultation responses have been reviewed
no changes to existing payments will happen without further consultation next year; and
old schemes will not be removed before new schemes are ready.
Speaking at the conference, the Cabinet Secretary said:
“I have been clear from day one. Maintaining the status quo is not an option post-Brexit because it does not help farmers adapt to the challenges of a different and rapidly moving trading environment. Whether we like it or not, the UK will leave the Common Agricultural Policy next year. That is a certainty. The Basic Payment Scheme is not the most effective way to support farmers after Brexit – it is too blunt an instrument to deliver. There is no link between BPS and a farmer’s effort, the performance of the farm business or the outcomes achieved. The BPS delivers neither long term resilience nor prosperity.
“Our proposed Economic Resilience scheme will target funding towards improving businesses. It will be designed to increase productivity, invest in efficiency and diversification and help farmers adapt to new market opportunities.”