A Senedd Member has demanded a statement form the Welsh Government on action to protect traditional Welsh farmland.

Samuel Kurtz MS, who represents Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire, has requested that the Minister for Climate Chance make a statement on the protection of Welsh farmland from exploitative foreign companies.

Figures released by the Welsh Government have confirmed that a growing proportion of the Welsh Government’s Glastir Woodland Creation (GWC) fund is being used to finance tree planting projects on Welsh farmland purchased by foreign investors.

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The Farmers Union of Wales have also expressed concern, after receiving reports that Welsh farms are being sold off for tree planting on almost a weekly basis.

This comes after Labour’s Minister for Social Justice was criticised after failing to deny that the Labour Government, through its Wales and Africa program, will not be displacing farmers from their land and using it to plant forests to offset Welsh carbon emissions.

The Welsh Conservative Shadow Minister for Rural Affairs, Samuel Kurtz MS said: “These are incredibly concerning reports for the Welsh agricultural industry, especially given the fact that the offloading of Welsh carbon credits to businesses outside of Wales does nothing to reduce Wales’ own carbon footprint.

READ MORE: Fears large companies are 'cashing in' on tree planting effort

“Indeed, once that land is out the hands of Welsh farmers, very little can be done to get it back.

“If we’re to tackle climate change, we must first look at home. That means ensuring traditional Welsh farmland isn’t being sold off to the highest foreign bidder. We mustn’t forget that our agricultural industry is part of the solution, not the problem.

“The bottom line is this: the sale of carbon in this way not only risks undermining the ability of Wales’ agricultural industry, but also our attempts to create a carbon net-zero Wales.

“It appears there is no protection for Wales’ family farms, few safeguards to ensure that carbon credits are not double counted and only vague plans from the Welsh Government to reduce Wales’ own carbon footprint.”

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