Farming in Wales is in a far stronger position but there will be challenges ahead with Brexit was the message from Carwyn Jones AM during his last visit to the Royal Welsh Show as First Minister.

Mr Jones said this year’s show would be looked on as a milestone as the last one before the United Kingdom leaves the European Union.

He said Welsh farming would face a “disaster” with a no-deal Brexit unless things change quickly.

“We now find ourselves in a time of uncertainty and change. “Farming is in great shape but there are challenges. Those challenges can be met sensibly and can be met in such a way that Welsh farming needn’t suffer,” he said.

Carwyn Jones wants guarantees from the UK Government that Welsh farmers won’t lose out on subsidies after Brexit.

“£260 million-a-year comes to Welsh farming from European money. We have no guarantees at all as to whether that money will be available in the future.

“We do not want a Barnett share because that would mean instead of getting 10 per cent of agricultural funding, we get six-per-cent, that’s almost half. 

“We can’t manage that and we would never be able to provide farmers the support they need if that’s what happens. Farmers don’t want to be competing with health and education when it comes to funding.”

County Times:

First Minister Carwyn Jones and Lesley Griffiths, Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Planning and Rural Affairs at the official opening of the Royal Welsh Show on July 23.

The First Minister praised the farming community for being more aware of what they need to produce and sell for the market.“They are far more ready to work together, because that was a real problem at one point, to make sure everybody gets a fair share of the market. 

“There are challenges. If we get free trade agreements with some countries like New Zealand and Australia that will be bad for Welsh farming. That will allow our competitors in, in a way that they’ve never had a chance to do in the past,” he added.

The Welsh Government has launched proposals for a new land management programme, which consist of two large and flexible schemes – the Economic Resilient Scheme and the Public Good Scheme.

he proposals, Mr Jones said, will keep farmers farming and position them to “thrive in a post-Brexit world”.

The First Minister said it was a “wonderful experience” to represent the farming community for much of his time as minister.

During his 17 years as an Assembly Member, Mr Jones had dealt with the foot and mouth outbreak six months into his role as Agriculture and Rural Development Secretary and he’s proud of what Farming Connect has achieved across Wales calling it a “first class scheme and the envy of farmers around the rest of the UK”.

“I hope I leave farming in a much stronger position and in good health to compare where we were in 2000.”