A government-backed scheme to support young entrants into Wales’ farming sector has been extended.
The Welsh government has allocated £1.8m to fund the Young Entrants Support Scheme (YESS) for a fourth year.
The scheme has been so successful since it launched in 2010 – helping 520 young people with grants totalling £7.1m – that it has been copied in Scotland. A similar scheme also runs in Northern Ireland.
The Welsh scheme supports farmers under 40 who are based in Wales. To qualify, they must either be in the process of setting up as head of the holding for the first time or have established themselves in that position during the previous year.
The grants are available to fund capital expenditure. The new entrants are then given further support through a mentoring service delivered by established farmers.
Wales’ farm minister, Alun Davies, said new and young entrants were key to the future success of Welsh agriculture.
“We are working hard to build a farming industry that has the skills, ability and knowledge to become more profitable and professional, while also keeping our traditional skills and culture alive,” he said. “Key to this is attracting new people into the farming industry and providing our new entrants with the guidance and support they need to succeed.”
Although expressions of interest can be made now, the application window will not open until 1 September.