Welsh farmers invited to help design new farm support scheme

Welsh farmers are being urged to have their say on whether policies being proposed for new post-Basic Payment Scheme support can work at a practical farm level.

The next phase of designing the new Sustainable Farming Scheme (SFS) will start in the summer of 2022 and farmers can get involved in that process, says Welsh rural affairs minister Lesley Griffiths.

See also: Welsh farm support scheme to target climate change from 2025

“I have always been clear about the need to work closely with our farmers to make sure their voices are heard as future support is designed,” she said.

“I want to thank the 2,000 people who were part of the first stage of designing the new scheme and now encourage them and more to register their interest in being part of the second phase.”

Farmers would be encouraged to share their opinions on the practicality of proposals in the SFS, she said, as well as on the structure of the scheme overall.

The government says the intention of the SFS is to support farm businesses to lower their carbon footprint, to help improve the environment, and “support the production of food in a sustainable way”.

The particular needs of family farms is being taken into account, it says, and there is acknowledgement of ecologically sustainable local food production.

In the meantime, farmers in Wales will receive the full BPS payment in 2022 and 2023.

There will be a final consultation on SFS in spring 2023, with the scheme set to be launched in 2025.

Farmers can register their interest to be involved in the co-design on the Welsh government website or by speaking to their local Farm Liaison Service representative.