Welsh Minister for Rural Affairs and North Wales and Trefnydd, Lesley Griffiths, has this week published its proposals for a new system of agricultural support, called the Sustainable Farming Scheme (Cymraeg), to be introduced by 2025.
The scheme sets out to meet four key objectives, to:
- produce food in a sustainable manner
- mitigate and adapt to climate change
- maintain and enhance the resilience of ecosystems and the benefts they provide
- conserve and enhance the countryside and cultural resources, promoting public access and engagement with them.
It also follows five key objectives: ‘we must keep farmers on the land’, ‘food production is vital for our nation’, ‘we should help build a prosperous and resilient agriculture industry’, ‘future support should maximise all SLM outcomes’, and ‘all farmers should be able to access the Scheme’.
Payments are split into three tiers: universal actions applicable to all farmers and two optional and collaborative layers. Support will be offered through an advisory service, as well as training and farmer-to-farmer knowledge sharing.
CIEEM has actively engaged with the development of the new policy, responding to consultations and meeting with Lesley Griffiths team to set out our position and recommendations on how a new agricultural system should be implemented in Wales.
A decision on how the final Scheme will look will not be made until further consultation on the detailed proposals and the economic analysis has been presented in 2023.