“Play your part in shaping Wales’ future farming support and make the most of the available assistance”: that is the message from Lesley Griffiths to Wales’ farmers, as she visits the Welsh Dairy Show today.
The Minister is urging farmers who have not yet had their say on the Welsh Government’s plans to support the industry after Brexit, as set out in Sustainable Farming and Our Land, to make sure they do so before it closes tomorrow. To date, the consultation has attracted nearly 2,000 responses.
Speaking ahead of the Welsh Dairy Show in Carmarthen, the Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs said:
Whilst a disastrous No-Deal Brexit has been averted - for now - we cannot be certain of the eventual outcome. We want to provide as much clarity on the future of Welsh farming in these uncertain times.
It is right, therefore, we consult and develop our long-term proposals for future support. Many of the proposals in the Sustainable Farming and Our Land consultation are largely unaffected by the outcome of Brexit.
Many farmers will be dependent on future support, and we are dependent on farmers delivering many of the outcomes we are trying to secure. Farmers have to be at the heart of this conversation. I would encourage everyone with an interest in the future of Wales’ farming sector to make sure they have had their say before 11pm tomorrow night.
The Minister is also encouraging farmers to consider applying for this year’s Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) Support Scheme, a facility to help farmers whose BPS claims have not been validated by the start of December.
Although the existing BPS payment window of 2 December 2019 until 30 June 2020 will be maintained, under the BPS Support Scheme, farmers who don’t receive their first BPS payment on day one will receive a payment worth up to 90% of their anticipated BPS claim value.
The application window for the BPS Support Scheme opened on 15 October and will remain open until 29 November. Individuals can apply using their RPW Online account.
I am determined to provide as much assistance as possible to Welsh farmers. Our BPS Support Scheme aims to provide some assurances to farmers, helping them to manage their immediate cash flow in these uncertain times. Again, I strongly advise farmers to submit an application before 29 November.