Lesley Griffiths reappointed Wales' farming minister

Lesley Griffiths has been reappointed as Wales' farming minister following the announcement of the new Welsh government ministerial team.

Ms Griffiths stays in her role as Minister for Rural Affairs following First Minister Mark Drakeford's cabinet reshuffle.

Julie James and Lee Waters have also been appointed to the new positions of Minister for Climate Change and Deputy Minister for Climate Change, respectively.

Responding to the appointments, NFU Cymru said the Welsh government must now deliver a 'productive, profitable and progressive' agricultural industry.

The union's president John Davies said: "There can be no doubt that the sixth round of Senedd elections and the formation of the new Welsh government come at a crucial time for Welsh agriculture.

"We are also emerging from what has been a very difficult 14 months, with the coronavirus pandemic having impacted on each and every one of us.

“Agriculture plays a vital role in the Welsh economy, underpinning a food and drink sector worth £7.5bn which in turn employs 229,500 people."

He added that Ms Griffiths now faced 'significant tasks' following her reappointment, including designing a 'comprehensive and fully integrated food and farming policy'.

The NFU Cymru president also called on the minister to ensure that Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) levels would continue for next year.

"The stability provided by the Basic Payment Scheme has been essential in helping achieve this during a time of such upheaval," Mr Davies said.

"I look to the minister to now provide certainty that the BPS funding will be maintained at current levels for 2022 to help ensure that we can continue to keep the nation fed at this challenging time."

He added: “We will now seek to meet with the ministers at the earliest opportunity in order to discuss the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for Welsh farming.”

Source: Farming UK