New payment system handed to farmers in Wales
NewsWednesday 15 January 2014
Yesterday farmers in Wales were worried about the upcoming announcement regarding their payments through the Common Agricultural Policy.
Well, it has been announced that farmers will fall into one of three new payment stands as part of the radical change to the financial support that they will receive to help them produce food.
Farmers were worried that the upcoming times will be tougher, and they have also predicted that meat prices would be on the rise.
Alun Davies, the Natural Resources Minister, revealed the payment details yesterday. However, the unions have described this announcement as a “major hit” for many farmers.
Outlining the plans for the three-tier payments, Mr Davies said farmers will receive £16.50 per hectare for moorland over 400 metres above sea level.
Farmers who have severely disadvantaged land will get £166 per hectare, and almost £200 per hectare will be paid for low lands.
The next five years, up until 2019, will be a transition period for the new payment scheme, according to the BBC.
"My decisions are aimed at placing the Welsh farming industry in the best possible position to face the future with confidence," said Mr Davies.
"They will result in an industry that can make the most of new opportunities, increase productivity, and is better placed to cope with exceptional circumstances, such as the harsh weather experienced last spring.
"The new arrangements will also lead to a fairer and more transparent distribution of funding, with a move away from historic payments, and will help ensure we use and safeguard our natural resources more effectively."
It was announced, last year, that the direct farm payments for Wales would be around €2,245m (£1,870m) over 2014-2020, with €355m (£296m) allocated for rural development schemes.
However, the budgets for both are being reduced by 12.6% and 5.5% respectively, after allowing for expected inflation.
There are also plans to use 15% of money for rural development projects as opposed to direct payment to farmers.
The Farmers' Union of Wales called on the Welsh government to use "every tool in the box" to minimise the impact for farmers who will lose out.
President Emyr Jones said: "While we have repeatedly expressed concerns about the amount of preparatory work done to investigate payment systems which would reduce the impact of a new payment system, it has to be accepted that whatever system was implemented would have led to large numbers of businesses losing significant sums."