Ahead of a visit to Sioe Môn, the agricultural show in Anglesey, Plaid Cymru Leader Leanne Wood has called for a Welsh Agricultural Land Bank to protect farmers and rural communities for future generations.
Ms Wood has called for a new agricultural financing system that would provide zero and low interest mortgages and loans to both farms that are struggling and new entrants into agriculture.
As part of the plan, the Plaid Cymru Leader, has also proposed mechanisms that would allow tenant farmers to be able to buy their farms on an affordable basis, and for the Land Bank to buy up new marketed farms to rent them out at low rates to the next generation of farmers.
Building on Plaid Cymru’s policy to introduce an Agricultural Basic Income, Ms Wood said that this package of policies would create a “national shield to protect our small and medium sized farms”.
“With a potential no deal Brexit looming and the future of agricultural subsidies under threat we must act to ensure a vibrant future for Welsh farms.
“Reports are already becoming commonplace that the future of the Welsh family farm is under threat and may even disappear within the next decade. I fear large companies and hedge funds would take the opportunity to buy up swathes of Welsh agricultural land.
“This would mean a huge transfer of one of our most valuable natural resources from the hands of many people in our communities to the hands of a small number of very wealthy investors who have neither the health of rural businesses or our culture at their heart.
“The creation of a Welsh Agricultural Land Bank would provide zero and low interest mortgages and loans to both farms that are struggling and new entrants into agriculture.
“The Bank would also assist tenant farmers wanting to buy their farms on an affordable basis, alongside retaining a portfolio of farms to rent out at low rates to new entrants into the farming sector. We would be protecting Welsh farming for future generations.
“The Welsh Land Bank sits alongside Plaid Cymru’s proposals to provide a basic income to farmers, as a more sustainable future following our exit from the Common Agricultural Policy and the end of the current subsidy regime.
“Together, these policies would enable us to create a national shield to protect our small and medium sized farms for future generations.”