More than 93% of Welsh farm businesses have today (Wednesday, December 15) received Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) 2021 full or balance payments, Rural Affairs Minister Lesley Griffiths has said.

In total, so far, £227 million has been paid into bank accounts of more than 15,000 farmers throughout Wales, including the £159 million already paid as BPS Advance payments on October 15.

This exceeds the number made in early in the payment window last year.

“I am pleased we have made an impressive number of BPS payments at the start of the payment window, which is in excess of those made last year,” said Minister Griffiths.

I introduced legislation at the beginning of the year which simplified the requirements of BPS for 2021. This resulted in a more straightforward application for farmers, a streamlined administration process for officials and allowed early BPS Advance payments to be made in October.

"This has been done while we all continue to operate in challenging circumstances brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic," Griffiths added.

“I want to thank everyone, including those in the sector who have worked with us to deliver a more streamlined BPS which has helped ensure farms have received their payments in a timely manner.

“My officials are now working hard to process the remaining BPS 2021 claims as soon as possible.

“I expect all but the most complex cases to be completed by June 30, next year.”