Comments by outgoing Welsh First Minister in the light of recent farming protests over the Welsh Government’s sustainable farming scheme (SFS) have been called ‘disappointing’ and ‘indicative of a wider problem’ by local politicians.

Farmers recently demonstrated to express their concerns over the SFS, the proposed post-Brexit farming subsidy scheme in Wales.

To access the subsidies farmers will have to commit to preserving10 per cent of their land as wildlife habitat and planting 10 percent with trees.

Opponents fear the bureaucracy involved with such measures and also say that they will be difficult to implement at the same time as running a business.

READ MORE: Thousands of farmers on the march in protest over minimum food prices

On the other hand environmentalists are keen that the Welsh Govermnent introduces an ambitious scheme that will help address climate change.

At a recent press conference Mr Drakeford said that the scheme would see farmers being paid to help tackle climate change.

He was reported as stating that farmers could not simply decide themselves what to do with millions of pounds worth of subsidies, saying: “The bargain cannot be that the public puts its hand into the pocket to put millions of pounds, maybe £300m every year on the table, for farmers to just do whatever farmers think they would like to do with it."

He added that ‘change was unavoidable’ even though this was a ‘difficult time’ for rural Wales.

Responding to the First Minister’s comments, Ammanford’s Adam Price MS said: “To dismiss valid concerns from the agricultural sector out of hand is incredibly disappointing.

“Plaid Cymru have argued time and time again that investing in our farming industry is an investment for Wales, with a return of £9 to every £1.

“The message we’re getting locally is one of real concern and frustration – this frustration should be addressed, not dismissed out of hand”

Plaid Cymru Candidate for Carmarthen, and Carmarthenshire Cabinet Member for Rural Affairs, Cllr Ann Davies added: “This statement from the First Minister is indicative of a wider problem the Welsh Labour Government has with our agricultural sector- they don’t understand these communities, nor do they particularly care to.

“At the meeting at Carmarthen mart, where 3000 attended, and in subsequent conversations with local farmers, I am picking up some well-founded fear for the future of the sector should the current proposals go through in their current form.

“There needs to be a constructive dialogue with the sector now to lay out a transition that works for Welsh farmers, instead of introducing a potential cliff edge that would put our food production and food security at real risk.”

The SFS consultation closes on March 7 and farmers are encouraged to have their say before then.