Welsh farming union cheered by Senedd announcement that BPS payments remain unchanged in 2023

NFU Cymru President Aled Jones and NFU Cymru Deputy President Abi Reader

NFU Cymru President Aled Jones and NFU Cymru Deputy President Abi Reader

Welsh farming union NFU Cymru has warmly welcomed the announcement from Wales’s Minister for Rural Affairs that Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) payments to Welsh farmers will remain the same in 2023.

Subject to budget availability, the BPS will also continue to be provided at current levels in 2024, with a provisional budget allocation of £238m.

The total direct payment ceiling of £238 million mirrors the level of support provided to farmers in Wales over the previous three years.

NFU Cymru President Aled Jones said: “NFU Cymru very much welcomes today’s (15 December) announcement from the Minister for Rural Affairs that BPS payments to the industry in 2023 and 2024, subject to budget availability, will be maintained at current levels.

”As a union, we have stressed to Welsh Government that the BPS provides vital stability to farm businesses and is crucial in maintaining the supply of safe, high quality and affordable food to all in society. The BPS is as important as it has ever been in the context of the unprecedented inflationary pressures being experienced by all farming sectors at present.”

The year ahead presents continued challenges for food and farming, Jones continued. Welsh farmers are dealing with significant hikes to input costs arising, in part, from the war in Ukraine, trade friction resulting from Britain’s departure from the EU and trade deals with some major agricultural exporting nations are expected to come in to effect. Today’s announcement from the Minister is, therefore, a welcome assurance to the nation’s farmers, he said.

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

“Although there is still much uncertainty ahead for Welsh agriculture, the news that funding levels will be maintained for the 2023 BPS and 2024 BPS, subject to budget availability, provides much needed clarity and stability and will go some way to helping equip farmers for the challenges ahead.

“As the new Agriculture (Wales) Bill progresses through the Senedd, NFU Cymru has long been clear that a stable and well-planned transition from the current CAP legacy schemes to the proposed Sustainable Farming Scheme is essential, and it is vital that there is confidence that the new scheme provides at least the same level of stability for farm businesses, the supply chain and rural communities before moving forward.”