25 July 2000
New Welsh minister meets farmers
by FWi staff
AQUACULTURE, horticulture and even worm farming could be the way ahead, the new Welsh agriculture secretary has told farmers.
Carwyn Jones, who replaced Christine Gwyther in a surprise weekend reshuffle, said diversification is vital if Welsh agriculture is to prosper.
A recent study saying that fish farming and horticulture offered a lot of potential for growth, and should be considered, insisted Mr Jones.
“We have to look at other ways of raising farm incomes, he told the BBC Radio 4 Farming Today programme.
“The more diverse we are, the easier it is to withstand difficulties in any particular sector.”
“I was speaking to someone this morning whos moved from farming sheep to farming worms, and its going very well,” he added.
At the Royal Welsh show with First Minister Rhodri Morgan on Monday (24 July), Mr Jones launched a business helpline for farmers who wish to diversify.
Senior officials of the Farmers Union of Wales held what they described as productive talks with both men at the showground at Builth Wells.
Bob Parry, FUW President, said: “We managed to cover a lot of ground in a short time with the new agriculture secretary.”
He added: “He has impressed farmers with his ability to quickly grasp the problems facing farming in Wales.
“The FUW looks forward to working in partnership with the agriculture secretary to help safeguard the traditional family farm.”
Mr Parry also urged the minister to assist with meat hygiene charges for small abattoirs and help young people enter the farming industry.