By FWi staff

THE Welsh agri-food industry is to get 10.63 million of EU Objective 1 funding.

The money will be invested in the Wales Agri-food Development Scheme, which aims to provide a whole chain approach to the development of the sector, and in Farming Connect, a new organisation that will provide business and technical advice, and access to a capital grant programme.

The development scheme will also be able to offer grants for processing and marketing, and to support innovation and competitiveness in small and medium-sized food processing companies.

There will also be farm enterprise and farm improvement grants to help individual farmers, or groups of producers, to improve the viability of farms.

These will be aimed at funding the provision of consultancy and advice, backed up by cash grants where necessary.

Wynfford James, the Welsh Development Agencys agri-food director, says schemes should be operational by 1 May, and will be rolled out as quickly as the industrys current difficulties allow.