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Farming Not Immune From Global Economic Crisis

07 December 2009
National Farmers Union

WALES, UK - The current economic climate will see significant pressure on public spending for the next few years. This will have impacts at the EU level for further CAP reform as well as on funding support provided by the Welsh Assembly Government according to Rory O’Sullivan, Director of the Rural Affairs Department for the Welsh Assembly Government.

Speaking at a recent Montgomeryshire National Farmers' Union (NFU) Cymru meeting, Mr O’Sullivan said, “Financial support for agriculture in Wales is important. It enables the farming community to provide economic, social, environmental and cultural cohesion to the broader rural community together with delivering clear benefits for taxpayers.”

Mr O’Sullivan, told those present that the Welsh Assembly Government was working with farming stakeholders on assessing the impact of the Single Payment Scheme moving from the historic basis to an area basis from 2014.

Clarifying that the Welsh Assembly Government had already started work on how this change can be introduced, Mr O’Sullivan said, “The Welsh Assembly Government will be pressing the European Commission to ensure that the move to an area payment will have transitional arrangements in order to allow farmers to plan for the effects re-distribution.”

Looking ahead, Mr O’Sullivan spoke of the future Glastir scheme which is aimed at addressing the challenges to agriculture, agreed under the 2008 CAP Healthcheck. He said, “The new scheme is about sustainable land management and rewarding farmers from the public purse for the delivery on a range of public goods that reflect the priorities of wider society. It will be a scheme that looks to support farmers to meet challenges of climate change, carbon capture, water management and supporting wildlife and biodiversity.”

In his wide-ranging speech Mr O’Sullivan also spoke of climate change and that the Welsh Assembly Government has a target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 3 per cent annually. Assuring farmers that the Rural Affairs Minister, Elin Jones, has no agenda for simply reducing livestock numbers, Mr O’Sullivan said, “Whilst the public continue to require meat and dairy in their balanced diet, reducing production in Wales would only involve a shift in production to elsewhere that would do little to contribute to lessen the overall impact of climate change.”

In closing, David Jones, Montgomeryshire NFU Cymru County Chairman expressed his appreciation to the guest speaker, Mr O’Sullivan and also to the event sponsor HSBC Bank PLC, without whose support, the meeting would not have been possible.

TheCattleSite News Desk


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