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MS tells young farmers he hopes new minister will ‘change direction’ on controversial scheme

A MEMBER of the Senedd has told a group of young farmers that he hopes the new Rural Affairs Minster will “change direction” on a controversial scheme.

Llŷr Gruffydd, who represents North Wales in the Senedd, and is Plaid Cymru’s Shadow Rural Affairs Minster, recently met with members of Ruthin YFC, to speak about his work holding the Welsh Government to account.

Mr Gruffydd said that Rural Affairs Minister Huw Irranca-Davies, who replaced Lesely Griffiths in the role, has an “opportunity to push the reset button”.

The Plaid Cymru MS added that it’s his party’s “priority” to demand that there is a “sustainable future for the Welsh family farm.”

Llŷr Gruffydd said: “I would like to thank the members of Ruthin YFC for the warm welcome and the engaging discussion about the issues that affect them and about my role scrutinising and challenging the Welsh Government. .

“The Sustainable Farming Scheme is front of mind for farmers across Wales, especially young farmers.

“It is a priority of mine to ensure that the new Rural Affairs Minister changes direction and puts in place a scheme that works for the agricultural community as well as for the environment. I hope and expect that he will do that.

“It’s Plaid Cymru’s overriding priority to demand fairness and a sustainable future for the Welsh family farm, and we are clear that the current proposals do not achieve Wales’s climate change ambitions in a way that does that.

“The Sustainable Farming Scheme is one of many issues that are worrying farmers in Wales.

“We have also seen the continued issue of bovine TB in Wales taking a devastating toll on the mental health of many people in the agricultural sector.

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“The regulations around NVZs is another factor that is having a real impact.

“The combination of all these issues is putting an enormous amount of strain on the rural community.

“The Welsh Government needs to rethink it’s approach in these areas in order to ensure that the demands it places on farmers are realistic. Failure to do so will not only undermine the viability of our rural communities, it will also undermine their critical role in achieving a more sustainable future for our environment.”