More than £66 million is being made available by the Welsh Government to continue delivering positive environmental outcomes for Wales.
Rural affairs minister Lesley Griffiths has announced the extension of the Glastir Advanced, Commons and Organic contracts until December 2023, as well as noting the intention for the Basic Payment Scheme to continue until 2023, subject to the UK Government’s spending review.
Over 1.3 million hectares of Welsh agricultural land comes under Glastir contracts and the continuation of the scheme will ensure that priority sites and areas in Wales are managed effectively. This includes conserving and enhancing wildlife and biodiversity, improving soil and water resources, restoring peatland habitats and contributing to the decarbonisation of Welsh agriculture.
All existing contract holders will be offered an extension via their RPW online accounts.
The minister also announced a further £7 million to extend the Farming Connect programme through to March 2023. This provides business support to thousands of farmers and foresters across Wales and has identified areas for improvement, developed skills and helped to find more efficient and innovative ways of working.
Ms Griffiths said: “I am very pleased to make £66.79m available through Glastir Advanced, Commons and Organic contracts until December 2023.
“The programme is crucial in supporting our farmers and this extension will help us further enhance our understanding of the impact of Glastir actions and interventions and contribute to the development of the future Sustainable Farming Scheme.
“I am also pleased a further £7m funding will see Farming Connect through to March 2023.
“This will ensure support for a more professional, profitable and resilient land-based sector, as we deal with multiple challenges and opportunities, including reducing all greenhouse gas emissions to Net Zero by 2050 and the ever-changing trading environment for the industry.
“From visiting farms the length and breadth of Wales, I have seen first-hand the positive impact Farming Connect has on the livelihoods of our farmers and I look forward to seeing more benefits thanks to today’s announcement.
“Significant and important change is coming which will provide a stable and sustainable future for the industry and rural communities in Wales. In the meantime, the Basic Payment Scheme will remain in place up to 2023, subject to UK Government funding, to provide support for farmers as we work together to transition to the Sustainable Farming Scheme.”