NFU Cymru has welcomed the announcement from the Cabinet Secretary Lesley Griffiths of the extension of many Glastir agreements, further investment through the Sustainable Production Grant and the continuation of the Farm Business Grant.
NFU Cymru President John Davies said: “These are matters that NFU Cymru has consistently raised, both in person and in writing, with the Cabinet Secretary so we are pleased that she has listened to and taken on board the views of the industry.
“This important announcement that allows for extensions of current agreements for those with Glastir Advanced, Commons and Organic agreements provides some much-needed security and certainty at a time of great uncertainty in the agricultural industry. We are also pleased that the Cabinet Secretary has announced a further round of Glastir Small Grants.
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“We do have concerns that farmers with Glastir Entry agreements do not have the opportunity of a similar extension.
“This announcement, alongside the decision made by the Cabinet Secretary to maintain BPS unchanged for 2020, provides some short term stability for farm business planning and is to be welcomed. We would ask that Welsh Government maintain the flexibility to offer further extensions in the future if proposed new schemes for Wales have not been fully designed and robustly tested and piloted to prove that they can continue to deliver economically, environmentally, socially and culturally for Welsh society.
“Of course the Union also welcomes the continuation of the Farm Business Grant. This has so far enabled many farming businesses to invest in new technology and equipment in order to drive innovation and efficiency in the industry. We are pleased that Welsh farming businesses will continue to have this opportunity going forward.
“Similarly, NFU Cymru is pleased that additional funds have been made available through the Sustainable Production Grant. The challenges facing the industry around water quality are well known, so we welcome Government supporting the investments that farmers want to make to maintain and enhance water quality here in Wales.“NFU Cymru has consistently highlighted the crucial role of the Wales RDP in providing certainty in a time of profound uncertainty. The Union believes it is vital that funds committed to the RDP are maximised and that not a penny of this allocation that can benefit Welsh farmers is left unspent. We look forward to receiving greater clarity on exactly where funding will be allocated and further detail on when further rounds of each of the grant schemes will be open.”