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A dedicated Uplands Package must be included in next RDP period – William Powell AM

January 14, 2014 5:05 PM

William Powell AM (Stephen Radford)William Powell AM, Welsh Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Rural Affairs, has reiterated his call for the Welsh Government to reverse its decision to abandon Welsh Upland farmers and ensure that the RDP (within Pillar 2 of the CAP) includes a dedicated and fully resourced Uplands package to support farmers.

William Powell AM, Liberal Democrat for Mid and West Wales, said:

"Farmers have been placed at a serious competitive disadvantage by the Welsh Government's unilateral decision to abandon dedicated support in Wales less favorable Uplands.

"Throughout the CAP reform process I have been urging the Welsh Government to reverse this decision and use the EU's new definition of Areas of Natural Constraint to develop a new scheme to replace Tir-Mynydd.

"Now that today's CAP announcement has confirmed that no scheme will be delivered through Pillar 1, it is critical that the Welsh Government maximizes the potential of Pillar 2's Rural Development Programme (RDP) to focus support in the Welsh Uplands.

"This scheme must support farm incomes by enabling farmers to improve their business both in terms of efficiency and environmental benefit. Without such dedicated support there are doubts over resilience of many Upland sheep farms.

"It is for this reason that dedicated uplands support must be made a priority for Wales, enabling Welsh farmers to have once again a level playing field with their counterparts elsewhere in the UK - and indeed in the wider European Union."