RW 2010: Keeping CAP budget is priority for Wales

Protecting the CAP budget must be a priority for the Welsh Assembly Government so that Wales’ subsidy allocation is not cut post-2013, a report by the National Assembly’s cross-party Rural Development Sub Committee has said.

In a report released on Tuesday 20 July, the sub-committee also recommended that the devolved government make best use of the influence of Welsh MEPs.

It urged Welsh policiticans to build alliances with other EU regions which shared a common interest on CAP reform.

This will enable it to maximise its influence and bargaining power, the report said.

The provision of adequate income for farmers is also listed as a priority as is ensuring that food security remains a key objective of the CAP.

Support for food production in less favoured areas, such as the Welsh uplands, must also be protected, the report added.

“Evidence gathered during the inquiry highlighted the importance of the CAP to the Welsh agricultural industry and rural Wales more generally, so the committee felt a duty to get involved in the debate of its future post-2013,” said committee chairman and assembly member Rhodri Glyn Thomas.

“Income from the CAP’s single farm payment currently accounts for 90% of average farm income in Wales, so it’s importance for Welsh farmers must not be underestimated.

“This report seeks to set a marker for the Welsh Government regarding how it should be representing Wales’ interests during the negotiation process,” Mr Thomas.

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