£80 million boost announced for Welsh farm environmental schemes

Over £80 million of funding has been granted for environmental farm support programmes in Wales, Environment Secretary Lesley Griffith announced today.

The funding package will support the delivery of environmental outcomes including on agriculture pollution and provide support to farmers facing the considerable challenges of Brexit.

Programmes to be supported include Glastir agreements, the Sustainable Production Grant and the continuation of the Farm Business Grant.

Supporting existing programmes

Almost £63 million will be used to extend all Glastir Advanced agreements, including underlying Glastir Entry elements, where they are in place.

All current Glastir Commons agreements and all current Glastir Organics contracts to 2021.

There will also be a further round of Glastir Small Grants. This will help to ensure ongoing environmental outcomes and a smooth transition to the new Public Goods Scheme.

A further £16 million will be made available to the Sustainable Production Grant to help farmers prepare for the introduction of regulations to protect water quality from agricultural pollution and improve their nutrient management.

The current Farm Business Grant will also continue and will support farmers to invest in equipment and machinery to increase their business sustainability and profitability.

The Cabinet Secretary said: “I am pleased to be able to announce a significant package of support for farmers today through the Rural Development Programme.

It will help the industry face the upcoming challenges of Brexit alongside the immediate and ongoing problems associated with agriculture pollution.

“Importantly as well, the funding will help farmers transition to our new Land Management Programme.

“The extension of all Glastir Advanced, Commons and Organics agreements to 2021 will provide certainty for land managers and ensure the ongoing delivery of important environmental outcomes.

“Last month I announced I will be introducing all-Wales regulations to help the industry tackle the unacceptable levels of agricultural pollution on our water. I have allocated £16 million through the Sustainable Production Grant to support the industry in this work.

“As we prepare to leave the EU in just over three months, it is more important than ever that we do all we can to improve the productivity of farm businesses across Wales – the continuation of the Farm business grant will do just that.”