National Farmers’ Union (NFU) Cymru’s Less Favoured Area Board has called for an “evidence-based approach” to the development of the land management policy that will replace the Common Agricultural Policy in Wales after Brexit.

The proposals, contained within the Welsh Government’s ‘Brexit and Our Land’ consultation published last month, set out how a policy centred around two large flexible schemes of economic resilience and public goods will replace the Basic Payment Scheme.

The Basic Payment Scheme is set to be phased out in Wales by 2025.

NFU Cymru president, John Davies, said: “Our Less Favoured Area Board was very keen to hear Welsh Government’s proposals for the future support scheme at our meeting on Monday (July 6).

“Through the Economic Resilience Scheme, Welsh Government says it will invest in land management businesses on a scale that has not been possible in the past.

“The consultation refers to investment in human and social capital. In reality, the package is likely to take the shape of measures that build on the existing Farming Connect model and current investment support grants – like Sustainable Production Grant and Farm Business Grant Schemes – as well as investment in the wider supply chain.

“Members of the board were clear – farmers need a stable foundation and confidence to allow them to invest in their businesses in the future.

“A greater understanding is required of the impacts and outcomes of existing measures to guide future policy development. The Welsh Government track record of delivering investment support to farmers through investment measures also requires a thorough evaluation.”

Davies added: “NFU Cymru has a clear idea of how productivity measures could be developed to operate more effectively in future. It is vital that they are sufficiently agile to respond to industry and market needs.

The consultation appears to suggest that volatility or stability measures are not required. NFU Cymru disagrees.

Welsh Government needs to be confident that the new package of measures proposed can deliver £7.40 or more return for the £1 invested that is achieved currently, otherwise our rural communities will be poorer in future. That is why the board has called for a ‘stocktake’ of the existing measures at its meeting today.”

Concluding, Davies said: “NFU Cymru is clear this is the most significant consultation for Welsh farming in a generation. We encourage all farmers to get involved in the consultation process and attend one of our many meetings in the coming months.”