“Welsh Government farming plans an ‘insult to Brecon and Radnorshire’s farmers’ say politicians
Brecon and Radnorshire’s politicians have slammed new farming proposals published by the Welsh Government as an insult to Brecon and Radnorshire’s hard-working farmers.
Local MP Fay Jones and Member of the Welsh Parliament James Evans MS spoke out after 500 farmers gathered in Brecon Livestock Market on Wednesday evening to hear more about the new Sustainable Farming Scheme.
Farmers have reacted angrily to the new conditions which would see 17 ‘universal actions’ imposed on farmers before any government support is handed out. As well as the onerous tree-planting and habitat targets, farmers will now have to give over yet more productive land to creating new ponds. The new rules also stipulate that farmers must attend six training courses a year – despite many having farmed this area for generations.
Mr Evans said: “The mood at the meeting in Brecon on Wednesday night was dark. Farmers are sickened by what the Welsh Government is asking of them. We should be enabling our farmers to continue the incredible work they do but this feels like managed decline – forcing farmers out of business without having the courage to do it to their faces. Mental health in farming is fragile at best and this is only going to make things worse.
Mrs Jones added: “It’s clear that the Welsh Government have lost the support of farming communities, particularly those in Brecon and Radnorshire. These plans are an insult to those who have farmed our area for many years, producing world-class food and stewarding a thriving natural environment. These plans to be paused urgently. Ministers need to realise that without farmers, we have no food and no environment.”
The National Farmers Union has also criticised the new rules. The Welsh Government’s own Impact Assessment described a stark drop in livestock figures, resulting in around 5,500 job losses across Wales. NFU Cymru Deputy President Abi Reader said the plans were ‘absolutely shocking’ and that she was ‘horrified, disgusted and disappointed’ by the Welsh Government’s approach.