Habitat Wales Scheme implementation.
On the Wednesday the 11th of October James Evans MS requested a statement from Lesley Griffiths MS, Minister for Rural Affairs, on the increasingly poor coordination from Welsh Government over the new Habitat Wales Scheme.
Reflecting on an NFU meeting, James said.
“On the 9th of October, I attended an NFU Brecon & Radnorshire branch meeting where there was quite rightfully shock and anger at the new Habitat Wales Scheme. Calculations have revealed a major shortfall in payments compared to the Glastir scheme and the rollout of the scheme has caused further concern with limited coordination from Welsh Government. In particular, farmers are concerned about the 400-acre cap, current mapping of land and delays to crucial information being released on the scheme and how farmers can access grants."
James goes on to say.
“Over many years farmer have gone above and beyond to comply with Welsh Governments agri environment schemes. The way in which the new scheme has been developed has been shocking. No engagement with farmers, no engagement with the unions and no engagement with NGO’s. The Welsh Government must change course on this scheme run the risk of a roll back of environmental enhancement as our farmers will do what is necessary to protect their businesses for the future. I have written to the Minister to invite her to meet farmers in Brecon and Radnorshire to discuss the scheme with them directly so she can understand the strength of feeling there is in our agricultural community”.
Local Young Farmer from Brecon, Sam said.
“We have been a part of agri environment schemes for years and have worked hard with the Welsh Government to protect and enhance the environment on our farms. However, this new scheme is an insult to that good work we have done, it does absolutely nothing to incentivise farmers to carry on with this good work and in fact it does completely the opposite, asking for more for far less. This was a golden opportunity for the Welsh Government to show good faith to the rural communities leading up to the sustainable farming scheme in 2025 but if this is a sign of things to come then perhaps it's time the friendly and productive relationship comes to an end. Farmers have had enough of being insulted and vilified by those in power in Cardiff.”