Farming: Welsh Government to make £22.9 million available to help move to new grant scheme
Rural Affairs Minister Lesley Griffith is hoping for a seamless transition to the new Sustainable Farming Scheme which starts in 2025.
To this end, the Minister announced today that the new £22.9 million Farming Connect programme will be available for farmers over the next two years.
She hopes the extra money will provide support to farmers as they prepare to move to the new Sustainable Farming Scheme.
Sustainability, improved environmental performance and greater global competitiveness are fundamental elements of the new scheme.
It replaces the current Glastir and the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS).
On 15 December 2022, the Minister announced a total budget of £238 million would be available for direct payments to farmers in 2023, the same level as provided over the previous three years.
“Subject to budget availability”, Ms Griffiths said that the BPS would continue to be provided at current levels in 2024 as well.
“The UK Government has continually refused to review the farm funding methodology and replace, in full, the funding Wales would have received had we remained in the European Union,” said Lesley Griffiths in December 2022.
The £22.9 million announced today goes to the Farming Connect programme which offers business support and helps develop farm businesses.
It plays a key role in helping farms reach net zero carbon emissions through advice and support.
The Minister made the announcement at Lower Eyton Farm, Wrexham – the home of Sarah and Will Evans.
The couple were helped by Farming Connect when they diversified their farm business to supply fresh, organically grown, and seasonal vegetable boxes to local customers.
Watery Lane Produce includes products from local suppliers as well as from their own farm.
Sarah Evans said: “We have been very fortunate of the support we have received from Farming Connect so far.”
Minister Lesley Griffiths said: “The new Farming Connect programme I am announcing today will support farmers in Wales at a key time.
“Farming Connect is valued by the industry and I know its services will be crucial in the next two years as we prepare the way for the Sustainable Farming Scheme.
“For the first time it will include a horticultural programme providing sector specific support for all rural growers, and a new ‘sheep genetics’ programme has been developed for sheep farmers.
“I know this is a challenging time for the industry, and the programme will provide valuable support as we move towards the Sustainable Farming Scheme.”
Eirwen Williams, of Menter a Busnes – which, alongside Lantra Wales, has delivered the Farming Connect programme since 2015, said:
“Farmers throughout Wales can expect a seamless transition as Farming Connect builds on its achievements over the last seven years.”
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