Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Kirsty Williams: Glastir scheme needs urgent reform

Kirsty Williams, AM for Brecon and Radnorshire and the Welsh Liberal Democrat spokesperson on Rural Affairs, has once again criticised the Welsh Assembly Government’s flawed flagship agricultural policy Glastir during an Assembly debate on the future of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) today.

Kirsty Williams said:

"CAP reform will be absolutely crucial in supporting agriculture in Wales in the future. Single Farm Payments make up between 80 and 90 per cent of many farm incomes, and moving to area based payments will cause great upheaval, especially in areas such as my own Brecon and Radnorshire who have traditionally benefitted from the historical based payments. I am therefore very pleased that the Rural Development Sub Committee has seen fit to investigate the CAP at this stage.

Adequate incomes for farmers are crucial for food security and the protection of our natural environment. It is ironic therefore that whilst the Rural Affairs Minister Elin Jones accepts the need for agriculture to play its part in preserving our environment we are in the middle of the debacle that is Glastir. The scheme is so chaotic that many farmers will not enter the scheme and all of the environmental management carried out by farmers under previous agri environmental schemes will be lost. Time is running out for the Minister to look again at the scheme, and I urge her to do so.

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