James Evans has asked the Welsh Government what it is doing to encourage young farmers to stay in the industry.

The Brecon and Radnorshire MS said at the Senedd that the future of the agricultural industry depends on the Government getting things right for the next generation of young farmers.

He said he meets many young entrants, one of whom had e-mailed him to raise concerns.

Mr Evans told Rural Affairs Minister Lesley Griffiths: “He asked me if I could put this question to you directly.

“He said: 'Can the minister give me hope that there's any future for me and other young entrants across the agricultural industry in Wales?

“‘I farm cattle, but I'm afraid to farm them due to the fear of TB.

“‘My family is concerned about the payment rates for the sustainable farming scheme and potentially losing 20 per cent of our farm to trees and biodiversity targets from the Government.

“‘It also seems the Government is far too quiet and reluctant to support us from the barrage of abuse we receive from TV personalities for fear of upsetting the environmental lobby.’”

Mr Evans asked Ms Griffiths what she could say to that young farmer to convince him that there is a future for him in Wales to keep farming.

He said: “Without our next generation of young farmers, we might as well say that the Welsh agricultural industry is closed for business.”

Ms Griffiths said the Government continues to support young entrants to the industry through programmes such as Farming Connect and Start to Farm.

She told Mr Evans: “The sustainable farming scheme will be available to all types of farms and will support young farmers to develop in the industry and establish sustainable businesses.”