FROM Whitland in the west to Llandovery in the east, Carmarthenshire is known for its farming.

And the county council is itself involved in the sector, as it owns 24 farms.

They range from 53 acres to 247 acres and are predominantly in the Laugharne, St Clears, Llanarthney and Llangadog areas.

During 2018-19, the farms generated £232,730 in rental income for the authority, with the tenants responsible for applying for agricultural subsidies.

The figures were provided to the Local Democracy Reporter Service following a Freedom of Information Act request.

A council spokeswoman said the majority of its farm estate was bought up in the late 1970s.

Asked how tenants were chosen, she said: “Initial consideration would usually be given to existing tenants on smaller holdings who are seeking to progress.

“If there is no suitable existing tenants, farms are advertised in the local press inviting expressions of interest.

“Detailed applications are submitted, and applicants invited to submit rental offers for the holding and a business plan with detailed budgets and cash flow analysis for the first three years of operation.”

Shortlisted applicants are then interviewed.

The rural economy is facing considerable uncertainty post-Brexit.

Wales will take on new powers in this sector and has consulted on a white paper called Brexit and our land, which has prompted more than 12,000 responses.

The plans would see two separate funds – an economic resilience scheme and public goods scheme – replacing the European Union’s current agricultural payment arrangements.

Farming union NFU Cymru is worried that the focus might shift away from food production, and has concerns over a new layer of regulation.

The Welsh Government said it wanted to continue supporting farmers, but said change was needed.

Speaking at the union’s annual conference last October, Lesley Griffiths, Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, said: “Maintaining the status quo is not an option post-Brexit because it does not help farmers adapt to the challenges of a different and rapidly moving trading environment.”

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