The Welsh Liberal Democrats are today unveiling policies to support Wales’ farming industry, including a £20 million package for hill farmers and plans to enable farmers to be able to improve their resilience and competitiveness.
The party's 3 key priorities are:
- Dedicated support for hill farming worth £20 million a year by introducing an ‘Areas of Natural Constraint’ scheme
- Providing small-scale grants to farmers to enable them to diversify, reduce their carbon emissions, and improve their resilience and competitiveness.
- Promote share farming and succession planning, ensuring the survival of the family farm
Commenting ahead of a Q&A being held at a farm in Llanilar, Kirsty Williams, Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, said:
“Welsh Liberal Democrats are passionate about protecting Wales’ proud farming tradition.
“Farmers in Wales produce some of the greatest produce in the world, but too often they are not getting the support they need from an out of touch Labour Government.
“Every member state of the EU and each of the UK devolved administrations has some form of financial support for those who farm in difficult areas, all except here in Wales. The Welsh Liberal Democrats would end this unfair competitive disadvantage.”
Elizabeth Evans, Assembly candidate for Ceredigion, said:
“These are ambitious proposals that will support our farmers.
“Unlike Labour in Cardiff and the Tories in Westminster, we know what farmers need, having represented Welsh rural communities for over a hundred years. We recognise the struggle many face, with average farm business incomes being forecast to decrease by nearly 16%
“Labour and Plaid’s Glastir system has been a source of great confusion and frustration for many farmers. The Welsh Liberal Democrats will simplify the existing scheme and ensure that farmers receive payments on time. We would also look to offer more small scale, accession grants for farmers to invest in animal welfare, reducing carbon emissions, and more efficient IT so they can increase diversity and profitability.”
William Powell, Assembly candidate for Mid and West Wales, said:
“More needs to be done to support and encourage young people to enter the farming industry. We will promote succession planning to combine the experience of the older generation with the energy of the younger generation. This will help drive business forward and encourage share farming to help young people get their foot on the farming ladder.”