News
22nd Oct

2014

TFA Media Release No. 21 – TFA Cymru Welcomes Support for the Uplands of Wales

TFA Cymru Welcomes Support for the Uplands of Wales

TFA Cymru Chairman Dennis Matheson welcomes the written statement by Deputy Minister Rebecca Evans on the Welsh Government’s plans for support for the uplands under the next Rural Development Plan (RDP) for Wales 2014-2020, but believes that it does not go far enough.

“TFA Cymru is pleased with the news that Glastir will continue to be a key measure in ensuring the resilience of Welsh agriculture and that the rollout of the Advanced scheme in moorland areas will be prioritised under the next RDP.  However, the Glastir scheme is not an option for all, and owing to the cut in direct payments to around €20 per hectare, some Welsh moorland farms will soon become unsustainable.  TFA Cymru therefore believes that a targeted Pillar II agri-environment scheme should also be introduced to help support moorland farmers, the majority of whom are tenants,” said Mr Matheson.

“At TFA Cymru we have always considered that whilst the payment rates in lowland and upland areas should be the same, the moorland areas should be treated differently.  This is not because of differing levels of productivity, but more so the extent of agricultural activity, in an attempt to prevent moorland land owners from capitalising on direct payments illegitimately.  Instead, an agri-environment scheme for moorland areas which is focused on improving the efficiency of grazing livestock systems would have sustainable benefits for the environment and farm profitability alike, thereby helping to retain the existence of farming in moorland areas of the Welsh uplands,” said Mr Matheson.

In a recent letter to Mrs Evans, Mr Matheson encouraged her to give consideration to how grazing livestock systems can be incorporated into proposals to meet the multiple benefits that the Welsh Government wishes to develop in upland areas through the next RDP.  However, given the number of tenant farmers in the moorland region of the Welsh SDA, Mr Matheson warned the Deputy Minister that “care must be taken to avoid any leakage of any such benefit to landlords through rent.”

TFA Cymru is hosting two special meetings for Welsh tenant farmers on 29 October 2014 regarding the impending changes to the CAP and would encourage tenant farmers to come along to find out more and to make sure that they are well informed.  These are being held at 11:30am at the Royal Welsh Agricultural Showground in Builth Wells and at 7:30pm at the White Waters Country Hotel in Llangollen, Denbighshire.  For more information and to book a place at the meetings contact Jenna Kirkpatrick on 0118 930 6130.

end

Ref:  MR21

Date: 22 October 2014

Notes for Editors:

For further information contact TFA Communications and Events Co-ordinator Jenna Kirkpatrick on 0118 930 6130.

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