The Welsh Government has confirmed £1.29 million investment of Welsh Government Rural Development Programme and European Agricultural Funding for the pig sector in Wales – to help the industry grow and capitalise on opportunities post-Brexit.
Following the success of the pilot project run by Menter a Busnes, funding has now been secured for Menter Moch Cymru – a project designed to support and develop the pig industry in Wales – allowing it to continue its work for another four years.
As a result of the extension Menter Moch Cymru (MMC) will maintain and expand its multi-pronged campaign, which among other targets seeks to increase the pig herd in Wales.
Funded by the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014 -2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government; MMC adopts a collaborative approach involving a range of supply chain partners to develop local markets and products and increase the expansion opportunities for existing producers and support the establishment of new entrants.
During the pilot phase, the project achieved a high profile and good engagement with the sector, whilst also vastly exceeding many of its original targets.
Menter a Busnes CEO Alun Jones said: “This news marks a significant investment by the Welsh Government in the pig sector, and it will be very much welcomed by those working in the industry.
“This is a huge opportunity for the pig sector, particularly in light of Brexit. Existing pig producers in Wales will have the confidence and tools to take their businesses to the next level, while new entrants will have the training and support they need to establish their enterprises.”
While the pig sector in Wales is small, and production has been declining since the 1970s, there are, Mr Jones said, great opportunities for farmers.
“The pig sector also offers Welsh farmers an opportunity to diversify their activities, and to take advantage of Wales’ position as a big consumer of pork.”