The National Sheep Association (NSA) has said it is concerned about “slippages in the planned progress” of the proposed Sustainable Farming Scheme (SFS).

The trade association for UK sheep farmers voiced its concerns following the Royal Assent of the Agriculture (Wales) Act last week.

The main source of future government support for Welsh farmers is underpinned by the act and is to be delivered through the SFS – which is to be in place for 2025.

However, the NSA said a clear scheme outline and “significant, meaningful information” regarding the financial implications of the scheme are yet to be seen.

NSA chief executive Phil Stoker said: “NSA has consistently highlighted that a period of just over 12 months is not sufficient time for farming businesses to plan for the future.

“The Agriculture Act has the potential to reinvigorate progress to support the farming sectors, placing due value on sustaining rural communities, environmental deliverables, language, culture and heritage along with ensuring the nation has reliable access to high quality, affordable food.”

The NSA said it is vital that the Welsh government does not let the opportunity to create a “workable and valued” scheme pass it by and must ensure industry collaboration on the design of the SFS.

NSA Cymru/Wales development officer, Helen Roberts said: “The opportunity is for government to commit to enhancing and supporting farming in Wales in the most meaningful ways possible, an opportunity to get it right for generations to come.

“NSA is pleased Welsh government is making strides towards these goals but is keen to ensure that a collaborative approach is maintained.

“NSA is looking forward to working constructively with Welsh government to continue to develop a scheme that delivers for Welsh agriculture, including for the environment.”

Roberts said, although the association welcomes the intention of new schemes, it wants future schemes to be “inclusive, fair and also recognise the value of farm diversity evident in Wales”.