Tenant farmers should not be excluded from Welsh capital grant schemes because of short-term farm business tenancies (FBTs), the TFA Cymru has warned.
It is concerned that many Welsh tenant farmers will not be able to take advantage of the Welsh government’s new Glastir Small Capital Grant scheme, which covers support for tree planting, dry stone walling and tackling invasive plant species.
The Welsh government is proposing the new scheme will sit under Glastir Advanced and Entry levels.
Dennis Matheson, TFA Cymru chairman, said: “Sadly, we have many short term farm business tenancies in Wales which may fall outside the scope of the new scheme if the Welsh government presses ahead to make it available only to those who have more than five years on their leases.
“Also, more widely, there is concern that quite a few Welsh farmers have not been able to access Glastir due to having insufficient points under the present Glastir scoring system.”
Mr Matheson said TFA Cymru was arguing for longer term, 10-year plus FBTs but that in the short term it was vital tenants did not face discrimination.
Wendy Jackson, consultant with Cymru Agricultural and Rural Advice, agreed that it would be helpful for FBTs to be extended to 10 years but added there were options open to tenant farmers with short-term tenancies.
“If the tenancy is shorter than five years, landlords are able to sign up to an indemnity form to help take this forward.”
Ms Jackson agreed that the current Glastir requirements were quite prescriptive: “Certainly, we are seeing a number of more intensive farmers struggling to get into the scheme.”
Final decisions are due to be announced by the deputy minister Rebecca Evans following confirmation of the national budget.