FUW reiterates desperate need for farm payment release

The FUW has reiterated its concerns for the agricultural industry regarding the delay in issuing Basic Payment Scheme and agri-environmental payments to farmers in a letter to Deputy Minister for Food and Farming Rebecca Evans – warning that many in the industry are now facing extreme financial difficulty.

FUW President Glyn Roberts, said: “Over the past 12 months we have consistently lobbied the Welsh Government to do all it can to accelerate the processing of payments and warned that the delays this year would have widespread repercussions for farmers and the wider rural economy.”

The most recent figures released by the Welsh Government show that around 80 percent of farmers have received part payments, leaving around 3400 businesses still to be paid.

“Those businesses have been extremely patient but as we approach the middle of February many are now facing crippling financial pressures, with mouths that need to be fed, bills that need to be paid, and loans which need to be serviced.”

Mr Roberts said that there are also implications in terms of meeting the terms of agri-environment schemes and undertaking essential work due to cash flow problems.

In his letter to the Deputy Minister, Mr Roberts highlights the fact that in some cases farmers have had to approach their banks for a second time in order to extend overdrafts to be able to continue with essential farm work, while others have been refused such extensions due to the uncertainty in terms of when they are likely to receive their payments.

“As such, we would once again urge you to do all you can to accelerate the processing of BPS and Glastir payments in order to alleviate these pressures which are affecting not only farmers, but many other businesses which are reliant on the industry,” the letter concludes.

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