Welsh government confirms £22m for Farming Connect

A budget of £22.9m is being made available in Wales to maintain agriculture’s flagship Farming Connect programme for another two years.

The Welsh government said the programme will focus on sustainability, environmental performance and global competitiveness, to prepare farmers to transition to the new Sustainable Farming Scheme (SFS) in 2025.

For that reason, its services will be “crucial’’ in the next two years, said Wales’ rural affairs minister Lesley Griffiths.

See also: BPS cash worth £62.5m sent to farmers in Wales

“I know this is a challenging time for the industry, and the programme will provide valuable support as we move towards the SFS,’’ she said.

Among the new initiatives is one structured around sheep genetics.

The programme will again be delivered by Menter a Busnes and Lantra Wales.

Menter a Busnes’ director of rural programmes, Eirwen Williams, promised farmers a “seamless transition’’.

“Through our skilled and experienced regional field force and teams of specialist advisers, mentors, and accredited trainers, we will be reaching out to all those working in our industry, including young or new entrants wanting to progress as well as established businesses ready to consider different ways of working,’’ she said.

Since its launch in 2015, Farming Connect has supported more than 26,500 individuals.