Wales must demand increased funding for Welsh agriculture if it’s to strengthen food security and combat climate crisis
Plaid Cymru has called on the Welsh Government to take bold action by demanding significantly increased funding for Welsh agriculture if it expects the industry to deliver on multiple challenges.
Speaking ahead of the Anglesey, Pembrokeshire and Denbigh & Flint Shows this week, Plaid’s Shadow Minister for Rural Affairs, Llyr Gruffydd MS said that holding the UK Conservative Government to its post-Brexit funding commitment of “not a penny less” to Welsh farmers is no longer sufficient to meet the challenges of strengthening food security and tackling the climate crisis.
Calling on the Rural Affairs Minister, Lesley Griffiths, to ensure that further funding is sought, Mr Gruffydd warned that the escalating cost-of-living challenges, the increased input costs faced by farmers, the mounting costs of post-Brexit trade adjustments, and the acute disruptions within global supply chains all mean that settling for the same historic levels of funding is no longer enough.
Llyr Gruffydd MS said:
"The Conservative Party's 2019 manifesto commitment to match former EU funding levels remains unfulfilled. This has left both Welsh farmers and the Welsh Government grappling with unprecedented financial uncertainties. What is certain though is that settling for the same historic levels of funding is no longer sufficient if Ministers in London and Cardiff Bay expect the industry to deliver on their demands.
“Lesley Griffiths always demands that the UK Government keeps to its promise of ‘not a penny less’. Having failed to live up to that promise I understand why she feels the Conservatives should be held to their word, but the reality is that previous funding levels are now nowhere near enough to deliver the scale and intensity of response expected of the industry.
"If we are truly committed to addressing the climate crisis, it’s imperative that both Governments provide our farmers with the resources and support needed to lead the charge toward net-zero emissions. Likewise, we know that strengthening food security in the face of serious global challenges must be a priority. This can’t be done on the cheap. Costs have gone through the roof. You won’t deliver today’s priorities on yesterday’s budget.
“The Minister must champion the cause of Welsh agriculture and advocate for a funding level that surpasses past allocations. Asking for 'not a penny less' falls short of what’s needed to deliver food security, combat the climate emergency and secure the future of farming.”