Welsh farmers’ views wanted on CAP spending

The Welsh government has set out a range of funding options that may help farmers claw back some of the modulation cash stripped from their direct payments.

Under CAP reform the Welsh farm minister Alun Davies agreed to switch 15% from direct support to fund the Rural Development Programme (RDP).

There is nearly £1bn in the RDP pot and Mr Davies is asking farmers and others how they think the money should be shared.

More on CAP reform

Mr Davies launched a consultation on Monday 17 February and among the options included was funding that would help farmers diversify into non-farming activities such as renewable energy.

There could also be funding for programmes that help to diminish plant and animal diseases and for a revised and more flexible Glastir land management programme.

Sixty per cent of the RDP will be spent on land-based activities.

But Mr Davies insisted Pillar 2 funding must be used to deliver economic and environmental benefits to the whole rural community.

“This budget will provide a rural development fund large enough to offer support to the farming industry in a meaningful and sustainable way.”
Alun Davies

“This budget will provide a rural development fund large enough to offer support to the farming industry in a meaningful and sustainable way,” he said.

The minister added that he wanted to provide a strong focus on building resilient businesses while creating a healthy natural environment to drive rural economic growth.

But Plaid Cymru said consultants must not be the main beneficiaries of the bigger RDP budget.

The party’s minister for sustainable communities, energy and food, Llyr Gruffydd, said: “We very much hope that the proposed new programme will see reduced bureaucracy and a much simplified process of delivery. An increased budget must not mean a heftier slice of the cake for consultants, but more money for action to support communities on the ground.”

The consultation, available on the Welsh government’s website, will run until 14 April.