The Welsh Government’s decision to abolish the Less Favoured Area payment top-up within its new environment management scheme will result in farmers in these areas losing 20% of their subsidy.
The decision, which affects nearly 80% of agricultural land in Wales, means that for the first time in more than 60 years, Wales has no scheme specific to areas with more challenging farming conditions.
Although Glastir payments have been increased by £6/hectare to £34 following a recent review, farmers in LFAs, whose payment would have been £33.60, will effectively only see an increase of 40p, said Farmers’ Union of Wales’ president, Emyr Jones.
“The Welsh uplands are the very reason why Wales exists. They not only symbolise Wales, but also define Wales,” said Mr Jones. “We must not forget that the uplands dominate our country and when we talk about the future of the uplands we are, therefore, talking about the future of what defines Wales in terms of our landscape, our culture, and our communities.”
The Welsh Government said it had made the decision following discussions with the European Commission.