Glastir stocktake step in the right direction, says FUW
Deputy agriculture minister Alun Davies' "Stocktake" of the much-criticised Glastir agri-environment scheme was described as a step in the right direction by the Farmers' Union of Wales today.
"While we would have liked him to have gone further on some other aspects of the scheme, we welcome the focus improving communications at all levels of the scheme," said FUW land use and parliamentary committee chairman Gavin Williams.
"It is a step in the right direction and we look forward to working with Welsh Government to get the right messages across to farmers, bearing in mind that communication and engagement is a two-way process."
Delivering his "Stocktake Report" in the Senedd earlier, Mr Davies accepted previous criticism of a lack of communication in delivering details of the scheme.
But he said he is determined to make Glastir more accessible by changing the various terms used to describe the different elements of the scheme.
Stressing the current payment rates were fair to both farmers and taxpayers, he acknowledged the rates would be reviewed periodically but an annual review would be "costly and cumbersome and probably not in the best interests of the scheme".
Mr Williams said: "Apart from this major communications plan, there are very few proposed changes to the scheme and most of those will be introduced under the next Rural Development Plan anyway.
"However, it is hoped, when the changes introduced following the Rees Roberts review have had the opportunity to bed in properly, farmers will revisit the scheme and make informed decisions on whether it is for them or not.
“Glastir will ultimately be judged by its uptake,” added Mr Williams.
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