The new rates, approved by the European Commission earlier this week, will result in significant savings for many farmers and is in direct response to industry feedback.
Farming Connect’s new range of partially funded services, launched in July 2008 by the Minister for Rural Affairs Elin Jones, includes the Whole Farm Plan (business, environment and technical advice); the Farm Advisory Service (on-farm advice on cross-compliance issues) and the Skills & Training Development Programme (which provides skills assessments and access to practical and statutory training courses).
More than 2,500 farmers have already registered for the new range of Farming Connect services. The new higher rate of subsidy will apply to all applications received after 1 January 2010. All other Farming Connect services, including knowledge transfer provided through the scheme’s five development programmes (dairy, red meat, organic, land management and climate change) will remain fully funded.
Rural Affairs Minister Elin Jones said:
“I am very pleased to make this announcement which demonstrates the Welsh Assembly Government’s commitment to providing additional levels of support which will further encourage farmers to run their businesses more efficiently and to safeguard the future of family farms."
Farming Connect is funded through the Rural Development Plan 2007–2013, which is financed by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Assembly Government.
27 November 2009