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Brussels, 20 February 2008

Rural Development Plan for Wales

Region profile:

  • Size: 2,078 million ha (20,000 km²); more than half of the country is mountainous; 80% of the total land surface is less favoured area which closely parallels the mountainous and upland areas.
  • 2.9 million inhabitants; 960,000 live in the 82% of the country considered rural.
  • Unemployment rate in rural Wales is 3.9%
  • Approximately 20,000 farmers manage 1.6 million hectares of land. A further 286,000 hectares is covered by woodland.
  • Overall employment directly associated with agriculture is estimated at 57,500.
  • In 2003, agriculture contributed £418m to Welsh GVA, or 1.1% (including subsidies). If direct subsidies are excluded, agriculture’s contribution falls to less than 1.0%.
  • 90% of farming is beef and sheep, the remaining 10% dairy and arable.

Chosen strategy corresponding to the profile:

The overall objectives chosen in accordance with the Community Strategic Guidelines (CSG) and the National Strategy Plan are:

  • Stimulating a dynamic and innovative agriculture sector,
  • encouraging sustainable production methods with a view to improving the environment,
  • improving the quality of life in rural areas and encouraging diversification of the rural economy,
  • building capacity and innovation in rural areas.

Overall budget and share of EU funding

A financial aid of € 991.5 million of which € 376.7 million is EU financed has been allocated to the Rural Development Programme for Wales for the period 2007- 2013.

Total Public Expenditure (in €)
Share of EAFRD* (in %)
EAFRD Contribution (in €)
Axis 1
Axis 2
Axis 3
Technical assistance

* EAFRD: European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development

Overall aim of RD programme

To promote sustainable rural development in a manner complementary to the other policies of the Community.

Axis 1 budget allocation and main priorities:

Total budget: € 121,911,222 - EAFRD contribution: € 68,954,228

Main priorities: vocational training and information actions, use of advisory services, adding value to agricultural and forestry products, co-operation for development of new products, processes and technologies in the agriculture and food sector and the forestry sector.

Axis 2 budget allocation and main priorities:

Total budget: € 721,625,423 - EAFRD contribution: € 225,663,111

Main priorities: LFA payments, Agri-environment payments, support for non-productive investments, first afforestation of agricultural land, first afforestation of non-agricultural land, support for non-productive investments (forestry).

Axes 3 budget allocation and main priorities:

Total budget: € 93,942,754 - EAFRD contribution: € 52,796,304

Main priorities: diversification into non-agricultural activities, support for the creation and development of micro-enterprises, encouragement of tourism activities, basic services for the economy and rural population, village renewal and development, conservation and upgrading of the rural heritage, training and information, skill acquisition, animation and implementation.

Leader budget allocation:

Total budget: € 46,632,354 – EAFRD contribution: € 25,647,795

The Leader axis will be implemented across all the other three axes, focussed on innovation.

See also:

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