Thousands of Welsh farmers protest against climate plans


Thousands of Welsh farmers have taken part in a demonstration outside the Welsh parliament objecting to new farm subsidy proposals for Wales.

The Welsh farmers are said to have come from the “hills and mountains, from the valleys and coastal areas” to protest, arguing the government’s climate policies will have dire consequences for the farming industry.

The proposals, called the Sustainable Farming Scheme (SFS), have been branded as “unworkable” by farmers and were one of a number of issues being debated at the Senedd.

The SFS rewards farmers for managing their land in an environmentally sustainable way. The most controversial aspect of the scheme requires each farm to have 10% tree cover and 10% for habitat.

Advocates of the plans say they are crucial in helping Wales fight climate change and there is a degree of flexibility to the rules.

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South Wales Police said about 3,000 people turned up at the Welsh Parliament in protest yesterday (Wednesday).

The Welsh union NFU Cymru said the SFS would cost more than 5,000 jobs and that the turnout showed the Welsh dragon was “truly awake” and ready to fight back, according to the Guardian.

Former international rugby referee Nigel Owens, now a farmer in Carmarthenshire, said: “There can be no food on the table if there are no farmers.”

Pembrokeshire farmer Stuart Williams said: “As a fourth-generation dairy farmer, it’s in our blood. It isn’t a job; it’s a lifestyle.”

Meanwhile, opposition parties voted in favour of axing the Welsh government’s plans in a non-binding vote.

In a joint statement on Tuesday, outgoing First Minister Mark Drakeford and Rural Affairs Minister Lesley Griffiths said they had a list of actions to talk over with farming leaders.

They included undertaking an updated economic analysis of the new post-Brexit subsidy scheme.

Encouraging farmers to become more climate conscious has been a hot topic for several years.

In England, more than 10,000 farmers applied for the improved Sustainable Farming Incentive in just six months.


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