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PICTURE: Wales Farmer Farming news and views in Wales September 2013 £1.50

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Joindebate on CAP payments

WELSH farmers can expect to be paid between £42 and £204 ahectare by the end of 2019 if the Welsh Government deliv- ers the single payment

page 27

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through atwo-tier system. According to the Welsh

Government’sconsultation on howCAP reformsshould be implemented in Wales,farmers in moorland areas would be paid £42/ha through atwo-tier system and others £204/ha. If the government decided to

transfer the maximum permitted levelof15% from Pillar 1tosup- port environmental measures in Pillar 2, the industry would be left with aflatratepayment of £169/ha by the end of afive-year transition from the historic pay- ment model to the area-based alternative. If athree-tier system was

adopted–moors,severely disad- vantaged areas and others –pay- ments to moorland farmers

by Debbie James

would be £42/ha, £185/ha to those in severely disadvantaged areas and £219/ha to others. These figures assume an annu-

al budget of £225million, although the total sum available won’tbeknown until next month. The consultation document

also focuses on keyissues includ- ing capping, atransition period to area-based payments and the transfer of direct payments to Pillar 2, also known as the Rural Development Plan forWales. Aprogressive system of cap-

ping payments would be intro- duced. Payments of between €150,000 and €200,000 would be capped at 10%, €200,000 to €250,000 by 25%, €250,000 and €300,000 by 50% and €300,000 and aboveby100%. This would impact on 59 claimants,the equivalent of 0.36% of the 16,762 claimants in Wales.Any money

released would be transferred into Pillar 2. Although the minister initially

favoured atransition period of at least sevenyears,preferably ten, he is nowproposing five years. This would be deliveredinequal stages of 20% ayear up to 2019. Although Mr Davies said he understood farmers’ concerns about the financial impact of the newarea-based formula, he believedalong transition would have downsides thatwould out- weigh anyadvantages. “It would delaychange that

would benefit people whostand to gain, and thereare potentially manyfarmers whowill. “Slowchange reduces the

urgency to consider change that ultimatelysome farmbusinesses need to consider.” The minister believedthe shortened transition would ‘sharpen’farmer focus on the longer termchanges they will all have to make. Mr Davies is prepared to con-

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sider transferring up to the maxi- mumpermitted levelof15% from Pillar 1toPillar 2toallow him to address Wales’ environ- mental challenges.But, he will not makeafinal decision until he knows howmuch money there will be in the total budget. Thereare no plans to imple-

ment coupled support in Wales, eventhough farmers had argued thatthe mechanism would help them makethe move from his- toric to area-based payments and ease cashflowdifficulties. Nor is thereany intention to

makethe all-Wales environmen- tal land management scheme, Glastir,compulsory.The Welsh Government would instead implement

the European

Commission’s original greening proposals. “In my opinion, adopting the

standardgreening measures will provide the best means by which the majority of Welsh farmers can qualify forthis part of the payments regime without signifi-

cantlyimpacting upon their busi- nesses,” said Mr Davies. Rules on Single Payment claim

sizewould be introduced, with a minimum claim sizeofthree hectares and €100. This repre- sents arise from the five hectares and €200 limits thatwould be allowableinthe UK and Wales. Asmall farmer scheme has

been discounted because the min- ister regards it to be ‘counterpro- ductive’byexempting small farmers from ‘greening’ and cross compliance. Although Mr Davies is not

proposing to have an area of nat- ural constraint scheme under Pillar 1, he is still considering whether to introduce one under Pillar 2. Therewould be support foryoung farmers under Pillar 1 with acommitment to the Young Entrants Support Scheme. The consultation on the Welsh

Government’sproposals will run until October 15th with the pro- posals expected to be finalised by the end of the year.

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