11 October 2000
Welsh fear smallholding sell-off

By FWi staff

COUNCILS in Wales may be considering selling off farm smallholdings, claim Welsh farmers who have complained to agriculture secretary Carwyn Jones.

The Farmers Union of Wales wants Mr Jones to remind local authorities of their obligations to provide opportunities for people to rent smallholdings.

The union sees council smallholdings as providing the vital first step for young people who are keen to make farming their career.

FUW President Bob Parry told a meeting of the unions tenant committee that young people needed as much assistance as possible to get a foothold in farming.

In a letter to Mr Jones, Mr Parry said the union was aware that local councils were reviewing the organisation and running of their smallholding estates.

“The union is alarmed to hear of comments in some quarters that consideration may be given to selling off the whole or parts of these estates.”.

The FUW believes that the retention of the smallholding estates is vital for the long-term future of farming in Wales, because other opportunities are limited.

Mr Parry said it was clear that there is both a moral and legal obligation upon these authorities to retain the holdings, for the sake of future farming generations.