Substantial funding made available as key agricultural schemes extended

21 Sep 2021 10:16 AM

More than £66 million is being made available by the Welsh Government to continue delivering positive environmental outcomes for Wales, a key part of maximising the protective power of nature through farming.

Rural Affairs Minister Lesley Griffiths has announced the Glastir Advanced, Commons and Organic contracts are being extended until December 2023.

The Minister also says it is the intention for the Basic Payment Scheme to continue until 2023, subject to the UK Government’s comprehensive spending review.

Over 1.3m hectares of Welsh agricultural land come under a Glastir contract and the continuation of the scheme ensures priority sites and areas in Wales are managed effectively to achieve positive environmental outcomes.

This includes conserving and enhancing wildlife and biodiversity, improving soil and water resources, restoring peatland habitats and contributing to the decarbonisation of Welsh agriculture.

All existing eligible contract holders will be offered an extension via their RPW on-line accounts.

The Minister also announced a further £7m to extend the Farming Connect programme through to March 2023.

Farming Connect has been key in providing important business support to thousands of farmers and foresters across Wales.

This has included identifying areas for improvement, developing skills and helping find more efficient and innovative ways of working.

Rural Affairs Minister, Lesley Griffiths said:

I am very pleased to make £66.79m available through Glastir Advanced, Commons and Organic contracts until December 2023.

The programme is crucial in supporting our farmers and this extension will help us further enhance our understanding of the impact of Glastir actions and interventions and contribute to the development of the future Sustainable Farming Scheme.

I am also pleased a further £7m funding will see Farming Connect through to March 2023.

This will ensure support for a more professional, profitable and resilient land based sector, as we deal with multiple challenges and opportunities, including reducing all greenhouse gas emissions to Net Zero by 2050 and the ever-changing trading environment for the industry.

From visiting farms the length and breadth of Wales, I have seen first-hand the positive impact Farming Connect has on the livelihoods of our farmers and I look forward to seeing more benefit thanks to today’s announcement.

Significant and important change is coming which will provide a stable and sustainable future for the industry and rural communities in Wales. In the meantime, the Basic Payment Scheme will remain in place up to 2023, subject to UK Government funding, to provide support for farmers as we work together to transition to the Sustainable Farming Scheme.