NFU CYMRU has warmly welcomed the announcement from the Minister for Rural Affairs that BPS (Basic Payment Scheme) payments to Welsh farmers will remain the same in 2022.

In a written statement published on December 23, the Minister for Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths MS, stated she had ‘prioritised support’ for the sector to help with the challenges facing rural communities as a result of the UK leaving the EU and the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The total direct payment ceiling of £238 million mirrors the level of support provided to farmers in 2020 and 2021.

NFU Cymru president John Davies said: “NFU Cymru very much welcomes (the) announcement from the Minister for Rural Affairs that BPS payments to the industry in 2022 will be maintained at the levels provided in 2020 and 2021.

"As a union, we have stressed to Welsh Government that the BPS is crucial to maintaining the supply of safe, high quality and affordable food to all in society.

"This is as important as it has ever been, as the nation continues to battle against the effect of the coronavirus."

Mr Davies stressed the year ahead "presents continued challenges for our sector".

"We are dealing with trade friction resulting from our departure from the EU, trade deals with some major agricultural exporting nations moving ever closer to going live and significant hikes in input costs," he added.

"(The) announcement from the minister is therefore a welcome assurance to the nation’s farmers.

“As well as providing security to farming businesses, this announcement is also a boost for our rural businesses and communities, as Welsh farms provide the economic, social and cultural foundation of our rural communities.

“Although there is still much uncertainty ahead for Welsh agriculture, the news that funding levels for the 2022 BPS will be maintained provides clarity and stability in the short term and will go some way to helping equip farmers for the continuing challenges ahead.

“The minister, through confirming the BPS 2022 budget, alongside the announcement earlier this year that the BPS will continue in 2023 and the decision to extend current Glastir contract agreements for the next two years, has given Welsh Government and policy makers the breathing space to bring forward a new Agriculture Bill for Wales, and time to properly assess and model future support policies.

"It is absolutely vital that we get this right, as the bill and the policies that are subsequently developed will define Welsh agriculture for a generation to come.”