Post-Brexit agricultural policy in Wales is to focus much more heavily on culture, communities and landscape than Defra’s plans for England, according to Welsh Rural Affairs Secretary Lesley Griffiths.
Ms Griffiths made the remarks when giving evidence to MPs on the Westminster Welsh Affairs Committee this week.
She told them she was planning to launch a consultation on the proposals at the beginning of July, ahead of show season, in order to get maximum involvement from farmers.
“It is very important we have a long consultation”, Ms Griffiths said.
“It is obviously over the summer, and I know many people are very busy at that time of year, so we have extended it to 16 weeks to go into October.
“The green paper will cover all aspects of land management, and we want to hear people’s views on funding, which is a grave concern.”
Asked whether the Welsh Government’s plans were similar to those set out in Defra Secretary Michael Gove’s ‘Health and Harmony’ consultation for England, Ms Griffiths said: “There are big differences.
“I mentioned the landscape; I mentioned our culture; I mentioned our communities. Our paper will be much more focused on those aspects.”
She did, however, acknowledge that the proposals were similar in many other respects, particularly the notion of ‘public money for public goods’.
“Probably, when we get to the end of this road and we have got four agricultural policies for England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland, they probably will not wildly diversify”, she said.
“They will be different, but they will not be wildly different.”