Cabinet Secretary for the Environment and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths, said the first ‘online-only’ CAP Single Application Form had been a resounding success, with 16,252 applications received by the May 16 deadline.
She said Wales was leading the way in the UK as the only home nation to provide a 100 per cent digital approach to these applications.
“I am looking forward to leading work that affects every corner of Wales – from improving the quality of the air we breathe to the development of a world-class food and drinks sector.
“Farming accounts for the management of over 80 per cent of our land area, the delivery of a wide range of goods and services to society, the quality of our landscapes and a thriving food and drinks industry, where the supply chain accounts for 17 per cent of the jobs in Wales.
“Our move to online SAF applications for the CAP is a major part of our drive to modernise the services we provide to the farming community, reducing bureaucracy, and making best use of new technology to allow applications to be processed more quickly and efficiently.
“This in turn gives farmers more time to focus on the important business of farming,” she added.
“Our leading online performance was greatly aided from working with the farming unions and agents who have offered assistance to many farmers in making their applications.
“Rural Payments Wales also provided extensive one-to-one support to 1,680 farmers, with meetings taking place at six RPW offices across Wales.
Feedback from farm businesses who have taken advantage of the additional support offered by RPW has been overwhelmingly positive.
“In addition, the RPW Customer Contact Centre assisted thousands of farmers over the telephone, with over 12,000 calls in the last month alone, and operated extended opening hours in the last couple of weeks to meet customer needs.”