Welsh farming needs a safety net

 

Responding to the publication of the Welsh Government’s long-awaited White Paper on Agriculture in Wales which sets out a series of proposals for the future of farm support post-Brexit Llyr Gruffydd MS, the party’s Shadow Minister for Rural Affairs said:

 “Plaid Cymru has consistently warned that without some form of stability payment our family farms are being asked to jump off a cliff without a safety net.

 “Whilst we’re not necessarily wedded to the current basic payment model, retaining at least an element of basic income should be part of these proposals. It’s therefore disappointing that Labour are following the controversial Tory proposals in England by removing such support from Welsh farmers. In the meantime farmers in Scotland and throughout the EU will continue to receive direct support.

 “It’s also difficult to understand how anyone can have confidence in the economic modelling that’s supposed to underpin these proposals. We still have no idea what our trading relationship will be with our biggest export market post-Brexit. We don’t know whether an influx of cheap imports will undermine the viability of our domestic producers. Wales doesn’t even know what level of budget we’ll have to support the sector through any proposed scheme - and the recent cut in farm funding from the UK Government has certainly set alarm bells ringing.

 “Whilst covid has taught us to never again take for granted the nurses and carers that keep us safe, neither should we take for granted the farmers that feed our nation.

 “Placing a greater emphasis on delivering public goods such as decarbonisation and enhanced biodiversity is something Plaid Cymru supports, but it needs to be done in a way that protects the viability of those family farms that are needed to deliver those goods and the outcomes we all want to see.”

 A consultation on the White Paper runs until 25th March 2021.


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