The government has confirmed £243 million will be made available for the Basic Payment Scheme in 2020, to support Welsh farmers after Brexit.
Chancellor of the exchequer Sajid Javid said the cash will allow farmers across Wales to plan for the future once the UK leaves the Common Agricultural Policy Direct Payments scheme.
“When we leave the EU and are freed from the Common Agricultural Policy, we will be able to support our vital rural communities – who are a cornerstone of life in the UK – with a fairer and less bureaucratic system,” he commented.
“Farmers can enter the New Year with confidence that they have our backing and will be able to thrive after Brexit.”
Farmers in Wales will be paid the Basic Payment Scheme in 2020, at the same level as in recent years. According to the Welsh government, 15 per cent of this year’s budget for the BPS will support rural development in 2021/22.
This funding can be invested in a range of schemes such as reducing carbon and greenhouse gas emissions, projects to deliver water and air quality improvements, boosting habitats and species, tree planting programmes and supporting food and drink businesses post-Brexit.
Welsh rural affairs minister Lesley Griffiths welcomed the news but asked for guaranteed future funding from the UK government.
“Wales has benefitted from many years of European investment, including in agriculture and rural development,” she said. “This is of vital importance to Welsh farmers and rural communities.
“We welcome today’s announcement from the HM Treasury, but let us be clear, this is only making good on commitments already made.
“I would call on the UK Government to provide guarantees of funding for agriculture and to replace other current EU funds for future years. This will allow us to plan important future work to support agriculture, develop the economy, tackle climate change and protect our environment.”