Lack of clarity over next year’s budget casts a stain on the White Paper

The dispute about money between the Welsh Government and Westminster stands in the way of smooth transition to a new scheme to support Welsh farming
Long-horn heifer
A long-horn heifer eyes-up the future of Welsh livestock agriculture
The Welsh Welsh Government's White Paper on Agriculture is likely to be published tomorrow, but the Cardiff and Westminster Governments are still disputing next year's budget

“The long-anticipated draft Bill expected to be launched by Welsh Government tomorrow should point towards the long-term future of Agriculture in Wales. But the potential reduction in funding for the sector is worrying. This comes at a time when farmers are confronted by the hugely significant implications of a possible No Deal Brexit, a difficult transition period and the instabilities caused by Covid 19 restrictions - exerts extra pressure on Government as it begins to outline the structure for a stable, workable scheme.”

Nigel continues, “All those managing land are eager to understand how a new scheme will work on the ground – how it will affect their business. At the core, whatever the structure of the scheme may be, consistent levels of funding support for the sector will be the life-blood for Welsh agriculture and for the rural community.”

“Farmers must be able to plan-ahead on the basis of positive outlook provided by adequate funding and a workable structure outlined in the White paper.”

“We welcome the publication of the ‘Paper. The Sustainable Land Management scheme should replace the EU blanket subsidy with a formula which will improve resilience, productivity and appropriately reward land managers for what they achieve in meeting society’s wider ambitions. These include tackling climate change, improving the community’s health and wellbeing, responsibly managing our natural resources and bio-diversity. The scheme should build stronger bonds between farmers and landowners and the wider community.”

“However, as the ‘White Paper is introduced we must have reassurance that sufficient and consistent resources are in place for its proposals to actually be delivered, now and in the longer term.”

The potential reduction in funding for the sector is worrying

Nigel Hollett, Director, CLA Cymru.