Page last updated at 05:59 GMT, Thursday, 14 May 2009 06:59 UK

Ten-year farming strategy launch

Rural Affairs Minister Elin Jones
Minister Elin Jones said Wales' role as a food producing country is central

A 10-year strategy for farming in Wales is being launched by the rural affairs minister later.

Elin Jones said the strategy "sets out a clear vision" of Welsh farming at the heart of a sustainable countryside and profitable rural economy.

"Farming, Food & Countryside - Building a Secure Future" outlines the assembly government's policy through to 2020.

The launch is to take place at a farm near Machynlleth in Ceredigion which has diversified into bottling water.

Ms Jones said: "This important strategy sets out a clear vision of Welsh farming that is at the heart of a sustainable countryside and a profitable rural economy.

"It also sets out a vision of a sector that is able to meet challenges and maximise opportunities in an increasingly volatile economy."

Key aims of strategy

Connecting to the marketplace
Producing sustainably and profitably
Safeguarding animal health and welfare, plant health and food safety
Sustaining our countryside
Encouraging innovation.

The strategy has been developed through an extensive consultation process and with input from a specially established stakeholder group representing all sectors in rural Wales, said the minister.

She said: "I am indebted to the members of the group for their hard work and contribution to this strategy.

"The vision laid out in the document of what the future of rural Wales should be is one that is supported by all members of the group and I believe this is key to the success of the strategy."

Ms Jones also said that continuing Wales' role as a food producing country is central.

"The future must include adaptation to market and environmental pressures whilst ensuring we play our role in meeting the food demands of an increasing global population.

Bright future

"It is my firm belief that the future for the farming economy, countryside and communities of rural Wales can be both profitable and sustainable.

"The challenges ahead are significant but the opportunities are many. Through committed partnership I am confident that the farming industry in Wales has a bright future."

Former rural affairs minister Carwyn Jones launched the last 10-year strategy for Welsh farming in 2001.

Recently the assembly government announced a red meat strategy and another on disbanding five agri-environment schemes, and merging them into one.

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