NFU Cymru welcomes new small grant scheme
NFU Cymru has welcomed the Welsh Government announcement of a £40m small grant scheme in Wales, following extensive lobbying by the Union.
The scheme, announced by the Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs Lesley Griffiths AM today, will be available to farmers to improve resilience and competitiveness and will distribute financial support of up to £12,000 at a 40% grant rate over a four year period. Farmers across Wales will be able to invest in around 80 items linked to:
• Animal health, genetics and performance
• Crop management
• Energy efficiency
• Resource efficiency
Commenting on the announcement, NFU Cymru President, Stephen James said: “The introduction of a small grant scheme to support farmer investment in the latest technologies, equipment and innovations has been a key lobbying aim for NFU Cymru during this RDP programming period.
“We are pleased that Welsh Government has recognised the need for a small grants scheme to compliment the sustainable production grant scheme which targets larger projects – this will allow many more farmers in Wales to make on-farm investments that improve business and environmental performance.
“At this stage we do not know the operational detail of the scheme which is expected to open in April 2017. It is vital that the scheme is easily accessible and clearly communicated to the industry with an application process that is straightforward and user-friendly.”
Concluding Mr James said: “RDP funds in Wales have a very significant contribution to make to the vitality of farm businesses which, in turn, do so much to support the economic, social, cultural and environmental well-being of rural Wales. NFU Cymru is clear that the RDP should be used to best effect to prepare the farming industry for the changes ahead and measures that support the development of farm businesses are a key way to achieve this.”