NEIL Hamilton, AM for Mid & West Wales, and Leader of UKIP Wales, has welcomed two new initiatives aimed at helping develop the next generation of farmers.

Mr Hamilton, Party Spokesman for Agriculture and Rural Affairs, was commenting after the Welsh Government announced financial support for young people looking to establish a business in agriculture.

The Young People into Agriculture Scheme, will help high achieving individuals looking to establish a new business or to develop an existing business.

The Government, is also proposing to set up a Young People in Agriculture Forum, which will work with them to develop policies that benefit agricultural families, businesses and rural Wales.

Mr Hamilton said: “Agriculture is a large part of the economy in Wales, and it is vitally important that young people are encouraged to help develop their ideas for the future of farming.

“Applicants for the scheme will need to demonstrate they have the attributes to lead dynamic businesses, and be able to use their skills, experience and knowledge in the agricultural industry. I hope that young farmers, across Mid & West Wales, will seize this opportunity and make sure they do not miss out on any funding which could help them develop their business and maximise their potential.

“I also welcome the idea of a forum, as young people should have a voice. This will give them the opportunity to share their views directly to Ministers, senior officials and industry bodies and it an excellent way of supporting the next generation into agriculture.”

Cabinet Secretary, Lesley Griffiths said: “Both initiatives will sit alongside wider Welsh Government support for both young and other new entrants such as Farming Connect and the Farm Business Grant.

“Whilst there are many challenges for agriculture in Wales, I remain confident there are opportunities to develop a profitable and resilient industry that will benefit Wales’ future generations.”

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