BPS cash worth £227m paid to farmers in Wales

More than 93% of farmers in Wales have now received their 2021 Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) full or balance payments.

This exceeds the number made early in the payment window last year and means £227m has been paid into bank accounts of more than 15,000 farmers throughout Wales.

It includes the £159m already paid as BPS advance payments on 15 October.

See also: Welsh farmers receive 70% of BPS claims in advance payments

Historically, BPS payments have been made from 1 December, but regulation changes made by the government in Wales after the end of the EU exit implementation period triggered early payment.

Rural affairs minister Lesley Griffiths said officials were working hard to process the remaining BPS claims for this year as soon as possible.

“I expect all but the most complex cases to be completed by 30 June next year,” she said.

“I am pleased we have made an impressive number of BPS payments at the start of the payment window, which is in excess of those made last year. This has been done while we all continue to operate in challenging circumstances brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Scotland rural funding

Meanwhile, the Scottish government has pledged £650m from its latest budget to support the country’s rural economy.

The government said the 2022-23 funding will be used to help farmers recover from the coronavirus pandemic and the economic effects of Brexit.

The funding will also support farmers as they work to reduce emissions to help mitigate climate change.

A new round of agri-environment cash will be provided as part of an overall £36m budget, including funding to help achieve the commitment to double land used for organic farming.

Rural affairs secretary Mairi Gougeon said: “Rural and coastal communities have been hit hard by the economic impacts of Brexit and the pandemic.

“This budget underlines our commitment to supporting these communities, sustaining and creating employment, while meeting our climate change responsibilities.”

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