The Welsh Liberal Democrats have called on the Welsh Government to take action to tackle sky-high rates of ‘agflation’ (inflation linked to rising agricultural costs and prices) in Wales. The current rate of agflation is running at 28.8% per annum, around 20 percentage points above the UK Government’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) rate of inflation, which is itself at the highest recorded rate since 1981.
The Party has also called on the Minister for Rural Affairs Lesley Griffiths to attend a roundtable on the cost crisis in agriculture.
Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds.
The party’s call comes on the back of extreme inflation in energy prices and the cost of fertilizer among other costs. Between March 2021 and March 2022, UK-produced nitrogen has risen by 196% while red (agricultural) diesel has risen by 60%. Average energy bills are also expected to rise by 50% in April 2022 before rising again in October.
The agricultural sector in Wales has warned that if the Welsh Government does not step in to offer support food production and animal welfare may be compromised.
During the debate today (25/05/22) in the Senedd, Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader and Mid & West Wales Senedd Member Jane Dodds said:
“Farmers up and down Wales are seriously struggling at the moment, rampant inflation is much worse for the agricultural sector than many others and we urgently need action from both the UK and Welsh Governments.
“While many of the powers to address the challenges faced by Welsh farmers experiencing price rises lye within Westminster, the Welsh Government is not without agency in tackling the problem.
“For instance, it is imperative we maximise domestic crop production this year and in order to do so, restrictions relating to land managed under the Glastir scheme could be reviewed by the Welsh Government.
“I would like to see the Minister for Rural Affairs Lesley Griffiths attend a roundtable on the cost crisis in agriculture in order to discuss what steps the Welsh Government can take, particularly in light of the Crisis Framework introduced by the European Commission and interventions being adopted in countries across Europe.”