A tenant farmer from Anglesey has raised concerns around the Control of Agriculture Pollution Regulations and the Sustainable Farming Scheme proposals with Leader of Plaid Cymru Rhun ap Iorwerth.
Dilwyn Owen, who farms Porthamel Farm, Llanedwen, is a young tenant farmer on a County Council Holding. Here he keeps a herd of beef, which are sent directly to slaughter. He also grows some arable crops, in addition to having his own contracting business.
He is concerned about the Control of Agriculture Pollution Regulations, as complying with them means making huge investments to create a new slurry store, with the landlord unable to offer any support at present.
He said: “The Welsh Government knows how much this is costing the industry and farmers like myself, on a county council holding, just simply can’t get the funds to do the work that’s required. It’s not that I don't want to play my part, the system actually doesn’t allow me to do it.”
William Hughes, FUW Anglesey county chair said: “The Welsh Government is fully aware of the challenges tenants are facing with trying to comply with the regulations and they’ve done very little to address such concerns. We have called on them to review the regulations and look at alternatives to the closed periods as soon as possible so that long term clarity can be provided to the sector.”
The proposed Sustainable Farming Scheme is also a huge worry for Dilwyn. “While the Welsh Government announced concessions in terms of the 10% tree cover proposals, tenants such as myself are worried that certain actions could create conflict with landlords and result in arbitration if the scheme fails to allow for some flexibility,” he said.
Alun Owen, FUW Regional Vice President, added: “The FUW continues to attend meetings with the Welsh Government and other stakeholders in relation to the design of the Sustainable Farming Scheme. The plight of our tenant farmers is also part of that lobbying work and we will continue to do what it takes to ensure we have thriving, sustainable farms in Wales.”