Minister must be pragmatic on on-line move
In response to the Minister for Natural Resources and Food’s statement on Modernising Welsh Agriculture: Online Systems for Farmers , the Party of Wales Shadow Minister for Sustainable Communities, Energy and Food Llyr Gruffydd said:
"Plaid Cymru supports the increased use of on-line services for farmers where access to broadband is possible. The benefits of using on-line services are clear. It is faster, simpler, it reduces mistakes and form filling and ultimately saves time.
"The Minister must nevertheless be clear that no farm business will be punished if it is still unable to access broadband by 2016. Digital exclusion is already a curse on too many families and communities in Wales. The Government must be clear about what support and alternative arrangements it would provide farmers that find themselves in such circumstances come 2016.
"The shift to on-line services was first initiated by Plaid Cymru during the last Government and we are pleased that the Minister has continued the work started by us in government. He must nevertheless adopt a pragmatic attitude to what will no doubt be a very challenging prospect for many farmers. Scotland retains an element of paper forms, and for some exceptional circumstances this is something that should be considered in Wales."