PLAID CYMRU has launched its agriculture manifesto in Carmarthenshire this week, with a promise to review the whole-farm six-day standstill rule on animal movements.
The launch, attended by Shadow Minister for Rural Affairs Llyr Gruffydd as well as local candidates Elin Jones (Ceredigion), Adam Price (Carmarthen East and Dinefwr) and Simon Thomas (Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire), also highlighted Plaid Cymru’s policies to drive demand for Welsh produce.
This includes encouraging greater local procurement of produce by the public sector, and designating 2018 as a year of Welsh food and drink as part of a wider export drive.
Plaid Cymru also proposes a range of measures to help young entrants into the industry, including protecting council-owned farms, improving access to venture capital and establishing a Welsh Veterinary School at Aberystwyth.
The Party of Wales Shadow Minister Llyr Gruffydd said: “If elected in May, a Plaid Cymru government would vow to be a strong voice for Wales’s rural communities
“For too long, Labour Ministers have undermined our vital agriculture industry by making Wales the most modulated country in Europe – a decision that took £250m out of the pockets of Welsh farmers.
“Plaid Cymru wants to put this right by bringing forward policies that will ensure that the industry prospers in future.”
Adam Price, Plaid Cymru candidate for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr, said: “These are difficult times for Welsh farming. A combination of factors has led to low prices for many types of agricultural produce. But we are determined to take measures to boost demand – such as increasing the amount that the public sector procures locally and designating 2018 as a year of Welsh food and drink
“Labour also seems to have forgotten about the need to help young farmers into the industry; it closed the YESS scheme for new entrants. But Plaid would protect under-threat council farms, and look at ways to increase the availability of venture capital.”
Ceredigion’s Plaid Cymru candidate Elin Jones added: “The agriculture and food industries are worth £5.8 billion to Wales – they’re too important to be neglected. Plaid Cymru would take action to reduce the burdens on farmers, particularly by replacing the current six-day standstill rules.
“We would also support moves towards establishing a veterinary school at Aberystwyth, a development that would be of huge benefit to the sector.”