NEIL HAMILTON AM for Mid & West Wales, and Leader of UKIP Wales has welcomed news of extra help for farmers.
Mr Hamilton, a member of the Climate Change, Environment and Rural Affairs committee, said he was pleased to see emergency measures being put in place to reduce pressure on the agricultural industry.
“I am delighted to see the deadline for submission of the Single Payment Forms has been extended for a further month and Crop Diversification requirements have also been lifted.
“This is a great relief to many farmers, up and down the country, who have struggled to put one crop in the ground, never mind three, which is the requirement.
“The unprecedented weather and floods along with the Coronavirus pandemic has left many in difficult circumstances and I am pleased the Welsh Government has at last listened to their concerns.”
The Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths announced the deadline by which Single Application Forms must be submitted had been extended to June 15.
In response to concerns raised about Crop Diversification requirements following the recent flooding and the added pressure and uncertainties caused by the coronavirus pandemic, she also confirmed the requirements had been withdrawn completely for the 2020 Basic Payment scheme year.
An additional £5.5m in loan support has also been allocated to support farmers who have yet to receive their 2019 BPS and/or Glastir payments.
FUW President Glyn Roberts said: “We have been lobbying for these changes and interventions for some weeks now, so we welcome the Welsh Government’s decision to implement them.
“We are in daily discussions with Welsh Government about other changes that may need to be introduced to ensure our industry and family farms remain viable and can continue to produce food both in the short and long term.”
NFU Cymru President John Davies said: “We welcome the announcement that the Basic Payment Scheme, BPS and Glastir 2019 support scheme will re-open to support those farmers who are yet to receive any of their 2019 BPS and/or Glastir payments.
“However, the absolute priority for Rural Payments Wales, RPW must be to ensure that all outstanding payments to farmers are made in full at the earliest opportunity.
“Farmers across Wales have faced an expensive winter as a result of a succession of storms and flooding issues, this is combined with the Coronavirus pandemic which is already causing supply chain issues that are impacting on farm gate prices. The payment window opened some four months ago and it is imperative that Welsh Government prioritises all outstanding 2019 claims as a matter of urgency.”