The Welsh Government has recently launched that they are offering 150 farmers a start-up support grant worth £40,000 as a part of a Young People into Agriculture Scheme. The Government has set aside £6m to fund the scheme which is designed to assist high achieving young farmers (under the age of 40 as of April 1st) who are looking to establish a new business or develop an existing one.

Successful applicants will need to demonstrate they have the attributes to lead a dynamic business and drive change in the wider industry as we transition out of the EU.

The money available can be used as working capital and will be paid in three instalments up until 31st March 2020, but individuals will need to meet with the agreed key performance indicators (KPIs) to qualify.

Applications will be scored and ranked according to how they meet the selection criteria. Different points will be awarded according to the business type, business structure, academic qualifications, level of continuing professional development and the strength of the business plan. All applications will be ranked until the maximum number is reached (150 applicants).

In addition to the grant scheme the government has also proposed the creation of a Young People in Agriculture Forum. Forum members will work with Welsh Government to develop policies that benefit agricultural families, businesses and rural Wales. The Forum aimes to provide young people with an opportunity to express their views directly to ministers, senior officials and industry bodies with a view to supporting the next generation into agriculture.

Following the launch of the new scheme, Dafydd Jones, Wales YFC Rural Affairs Chairman said; Agriculture is a challenging industry for young people to access, and with the average age of farmers now near 60, the industry needs new blood more than ever. This support is crucial for young entrants to utilize and get their foot on the farming ladder to ensure vibrant, effective farming businesses here in Wales alongside a sustainable food production system.