Welsh farming minister Lesley Griffiths and First Minister Mark Drakeford have issued a written statement on farming in Wales.

The government has been under significant pressure from industry over proposals for the sustainable farming scheme (SFS) which will demand farmers devote 10% of agricultural land to be used for trees and 10% for wildlife habitat.

The proposals, currently under consultation, have triggered a wave of protests in Wales.

The statement underlines the government’s commitment to supporting the sector, adding: “We want to keep Welsh farmers farming, as we tackle the climate and nature emergency.”

It continues: “The sector is facing significant challenges as a result of persistently high inflation and energy costs, global instability, high input costs, and volatile farmgate prices together with substantial change in the industry.

“We continue to listen carefully to the concerns expressed by farmers and farming unions, including about some of the Welsh Government’s policies. We can today confirm the following action to support the sector.”

Addressing the continued issue of Bovine TB, the government argues it is committed to exploring other approaches to on-farm slaughter and has appointed a technical advisory group to advise ministers.

Turning to water regulations, a £20m fund is now earmarked to help farmers comply with the Water Resources (Control of Agricultural Pollution) regulations which seek to mitigate water pollution from farming activities.

The government gave a range of undertakings including ensuring farm payments are distributed fairly and accessible to all; ensuring that where farmers are asked to gather information as part of SFS, this process will be as efficient as possible, ensuring actions within SFS are appropriately targeted at improving the economic resilience of farms.