Farmers are unable to make critical business decisions because they have no idea what support they will receive under the new basic payments scheme, CLA Cymru has warned.

The Welsh government has come under fire from CLA Cymru for its lack of clarity on how entitlements will be allocated when Wales moves from its current historic payments model to an area-based one next year.

The association’s policy director, Karen Anthony, said clarity was desperately needed.

“We know existing entitlements will expire by the end of this year and we know the window for historic entitlement trading closes on 2 April, but many have been left in a decision vacuum,’’ she said. “Farmers need to know how the mechanism for BPS allocations will work.’’

See also CAP reform in Wales

Mrs Anthony said the situation was contrary to the Welsh government’s insistence that farm businesses should be more resilient.

“Ever since the decision to move 15% from Pillar 1 [direct support] to Pillar 2 [rural development] under the recent CAP announcement, the publication of the Kevin Roberts report and the Wales Rural Development Plan consultation, business resilience has been the phrase of the day.

“How can we expect farmers to be more business minded when they are expected to make critical decisions without the full facts?” said Mrs Anthony.

Farmers needed to know how the mechanism for BPS allocations would work, she insisted. “Resilient businesses make long-term decisions and the time frame to improve sustainability within the industry is being put under further pressure as the Welsh government fails to make these decisions,” Mrs Anthony added.