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Government urged to demand increased funding to support Welsh agriculture

14 Aug 2023 3 minute read
Llyr Gruffydd, who represents the North Wales Region in the Senedd

Plaid Cymru has called on the Welsh Government to demand significantly increased funding for Welsh agriculture from the UK Government.

Speaking ahead of the Anglesey, Pembrokeshire and Denbigh & Flint Shows this week, Plaid’s Shadow Minister for Rural Affairs, Llyr Gruffydd MS said that holding the UK Conservative Government to its post-Brexit funding commitment of “not a penny less” to Welsh farmers is no longer sufficient to meet the challenges of strengthening food security and tackling the climate crisis.

Calling on the Rural Affairs Minister, Lesley Griffiths, to ensure that further funding is sought, Mr Gruffydd warned that the escalating cost-of-living challenges, the increased input costs faced by farmers, the mounting costs of post-Brexit trade adjustments, and the acute disruptions within global supply chains all mean that settling for the same  levels of funding is no longer enough.

Financial uncertainties

“The Conservative Party’s 2019 manifesto commitment to match former EU funding levels remains unfulfilled. This has left both Welsh farmers and the Welsh Government grappling with unprecedented financial uncertainties,” he said.

“What is certain though is that settling for the same historic levels of funding is no longer sufficient if Ministers in London and Cardiff Bay expect the industry to deliver on their demands.

“Lesley Griffiths always demands that the UK Government keeps to its promise of ‘not a penny less’. Having failed to live up to that promise I understand why she feels the Conservatives should be held to their word, but the reality is that previous funding levels are now nowhere near enough to deliver the scale and intensity of response expected of the industry.

“If we are truly committed to addressing the climate crisis, it’s imperative that both Governments provide our farmers with the resources and support needed to lead the charge toward net-zero emissions. Likewise, we know that strengthening food security in the face of serious global challenges must be a priority. This can’t be done on the cheap. Costs have gone through the roof. You won’t deliver today’s priorities on yesterday’s budget.

“The Minister must champion the cause of Welsh agriculture and advocate for a funding level that surpasses past allocations. Asking for ‘not a penny less’ falls short of what’s needed to deliver food security, combat the climate emergency and secure the future of farming.”

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Neil Anderson
Neil Anderson
8 months ago

Llyr Gruffydd MS is correct, but it should not be blanket support. All subsidies should be carefully targeted to support long-term objectives as well as meeting short-term needs. This primarily means a shift towards sustainability, conversion to organics, regenerative agriculture (, smaller farms with diverse income streams, research into precision fermentation, timber production, horticulture and land-based aquaculture. There is much to be done to address the food needs of the people of Cymru, to reduce exports and imports to enhance self-sufficiency and to get more people on to the land.

Pen y cae
Pen y cae
8 months ago
Reply to  Neil Anderson

“To get more people on the land”

But not you, of course.

Neil Anderson
Neil Anderson
8 months ago
Reply to  Pen y cae

Why not me, Pen y cae? I would very much like to have a small holding (hens, goats, pigs) and vegetables. And fruit trees. And a view. But there are younger, more deserving and more capable Cymrians than me. Or are you just trolling?

8 months ago

Just make sure that funding reaches farms and rural enterprises connected to food production and kept away from parasitic ventures that just talk, talk, talk. The food miles issue needs to move beyond the political rhetoric and into the actions of consumers and those that supply them ( big and small retailers ).

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