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Written Statement - Review of Farming Connect and the proposed approach to deliver knowledge transfer, advice and innovation under the 2014 – 2020 Rural Development Programme

Rebecca Evans, Deputy Minister for Farming and Food

The Welsh Government has a key role to play in providing support for farm and forestry businesses in Wales. Funded through the Rural Development Plan and financed by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government, Farming Connect helps farmers and foresters run their businesses more efficiently, to improve competitiveness and to increase profitability.  

The programme directly supports the delivery of a number of Welsh Government schemes, initiatives and objectives including those relating to rural economic development, sustainable land management, climate change and animal health and welfare.

The Welsh Government will be procuring a new programme of knowledge transfer and innovation support commencing in 2015.  A Prior Indicative Notice (PIN) will be issued to alert the market place to the forthcoming procurement.

To help inform the development of these proposals I have commissioned Gareth Williams, an independent advisor who was responsible for the original Working Smarter report, to carry out a review of Farming Connect and consider the proposed approach to deliver knowledge transfer, advice and innovation under the 2014-2020 Rural Development Programme.

Gareth Williams will submit his findings and recommendations to me by the end of October 2014.