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Plans unveiled for professional, profitable farms of the future

Deputy Minister for Farming and Food, Rebecca Evans has yesterday delivered a keynote speech at the Welsh Farming Conference 2015 where she presented proposals for a new strategic framework for Welsh Agriculture.

These proposals have been developed jointly between the Welsh Government, FUW, NFU Cymru, CLA Wales and other key stakeholders.

The strategic framework sets out the challenges and threats facing the agriculture sector in Wales, but also highlights the opportunities, and importantly, the need for industry and Government to work together to secure a more prosperous and resilient future for the industry.

Taking the stage with Emyr Jones, President of the FUW, and Stephen James, President of the NFU-Cymru the Deputy Minister officially launched a 12-week consultation on the ‘Strategic Framework for Welsh Agriculture’. 

She said,

“Our vision is of a prosperous, sustainable industry. Successful, profitable farm businesses which have long-term futures are fundamental to success.  We want an industry that is forward looking; uses best practice and works to safeguard and enhance soil, water and the natural environment – the bedrock of farm production.”

The aim of the framework is to support the industry to develop so that it can reach its full potential to achieve the following:

  • improve its sustainability – economically, socially and environmentally
  • be a producer of a diverse range of ‘products’ with increased value that meet current market demand and anticipate market trends and embrace opportunities
  • be an efficient producer - with high standards of animal health and welfare, efficient resource use, a lower carbon footprint and first class management of the environment (soil, water, natural organisms) that sustains and enhances both production and the natural environment for the long term
  • sustains production not displaces that production with the outcome of increased environmental and other problems in other countries where standards may be lower
  • be an active user of research where putting into practice the latest knowledge and techniques is commonplace
  • be an industry that generates wealth and a range of skilled employment opportunities across Wales. 

The Deputy Minister added that the Rural Development Programme, which was approved by the European Commission last week, will provide financial support for many of the changes needed to farming and associated rural businesses, to help realise that vision. 

She said,

“With a value of over £900 million to rural Wales, much of which will be funded directly by the Welsh Government, this is the largest and most ambitious RDP we have ever proposed.

“The emphasis will be on ‘green growth’, supporting only those actions that are good for our rural economy, good for communities, good for the environment.

“For agriculture in particular, the new RDP will make significant, integrated investments in skills and knowledge, business development, fostering collaboration and improved land management. 

“Our guiding principles are that we will achieve much more by working together and that farming must be a sustainable industry in the widest sense.  The Welsh Government and its partners look forward to your response about how you want to take our industry forward.”

The consultation opened yesterday and anyone with an interest can respond via the consultation pages of our website. The deadline for responses is 27 August.


Channel website: http://gov.wales

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