FARMERS across west Wales have lit bonfires to remind politicians of the importance of agriculture.

The fires were organised by Enough is Enough with events taking place in Aberystwyth, Llandysul and Pennal and further afield in Ruthin and Brecon.

The main bonfire was lit on Shadog Farm in Pentre-cwrt in the Teifi Valley.

Farmers fire
Preparing one of the bonfires (Enough is Enough)

One of the organisers, Wyn Evans, said the fires were a way to remind people of the importance of agriculture and the wider rural economy and that the problems it faces are still here.

One of the major issues facing the sector is the recently delayed Sustainable Farming Scheme.

The scheme is the Welsh government's plan for future funding the farming industry following Brexit, which has more of a focus on the environment.

In order to gain access to funding, farmers in Wales would have to commit to covering 10 per cent of their land with trees and another 10 per cent earmarked as wildlife habitat.

The scheme was met with anger and led to protests in Aberystwyth, Carmarthen and outside the Senedd in Cardiff Bay.

A consultation into the proposals also drew 12,000 responses which ultimately led to its delay.

Rural Affairs Minister, Huw Irranca-Davies announced in May that the SFS subsidy scheme is to be delayed until 2026, saying the decision shows the Welsh government is 'listening' to farmers' concerns following widespread protests across the country earlier this year.

Mr Irranca-Davies said: "Together we can create a future where our farmers produce the very best of Welsh food to the highest standards, while safeguarding our precious environment.

"We are listening and will continue to listen.

"We must continue to work in partnership to finalise a scheme that works long-term.

"This is the next step in making that happen."

Despite the delay, fears still persist over the fundamental points in the scheme.

FUW President Ian Rickman said following the delay: “The development of the SFS represents the most significant change in agricultural policy in Wales for decades. It is therefore reassuring that the Cabinet Secretary maintains that the Scheme will not be introduced until it is ready.

“There has been a real frustration within the industry over recent months, and scrutiny of the finer details will be crucial as this work progresses over the coming weeks.”

In response to the bonfire protest, a Welsh government spokesperson said: "In May we introduced a new timeframe for the Sustainable Farming Scheme as part of a commitment to listening to farmers and rural communities.

"The scheme will now begin in 2026, giving more time to engage with key partners. We will establish a SFS preparatory phase during 2025 to prepare farmers for entry into the new scheme."

The Welsh Government added that the cabinet secretary for climate change and rural affairs had hosted two meetings of the SFS Roundtable which gives a wide range of stakeholders the opportunity to work together on the design of the scheme to resolve the remaining challenges.