The Welsh Government is to be given significant new powers to influence agriculture in Wales post-Brexit.

The long-awaited Agriculture Bill will enable a “made in Wales” system for Welsh farmers and rural communities, according to the cabinet secretary for energy, planning and rural affairs Lesley Griffiths.

She described it as an “important step forward’’.

“The bill gives us the freedom and flexibility to take forward our own proposals for a made in Wales support system for farmers,’’ she said.

Proposed powers include:

• New financial powers for future schemes

• Collection and sharing of data

• Powers to intervene in exceptional market conditions

• Setting of marketing standards

• Modification of retained EU law relating to the financing, management and monitoring of payments to farmers including the CAP Basic Payment Scheme

But Ms Griffiths said there were two issues that had yet to be resolved – the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Agreement on Agriculture and the red meat levy.

“The UK Government has classified WTO as reserved but I am clear these powers could have a significant effect on devolved competence. We need to agree a better process for managing this important part of agricultural support,’’ she said.

The bill does not contain provisions to improve the functioning of the red meat levy.

“Legislative change is required to underpin mechanisms for a fairer and more representative distribution of the levy,’’ Ms Griffiths insisted.

Reacting to the launch of the Bill, NFU Cymru president John Davies said that while it provided powers for Welsh Government ministers to follow their own agricultural reforms, the industry must make its voice heard on the structure of those reforms.

“The common theme is that food production must be at the heart of any future agricultural policy in Wales if these businesses are to prosper in the future and continue to provide jobs, growth and investment for all of Wales,’’ said Mr Davies.

“We must also realise that Wales has an excellent environmental story to tell, but be under no illusion that it is farmers that maintain and enhance our environment alongside providing safe, quality, affordable food.’’

NFU Cymru maintains that any future Welsh agricultural policy should contain volatility or stability measures, to sit alongside environmental and productivity measures, to support farmers’ core role as food producers.

“Given that agriculture underpins the Welsh food and drink sector worth almost £7 billion a year to the Welsh economy and employing over 240,000 people, we need future policy that supports this important sector and allows it to prosper post-Brexit,’’ said Mr Davies.

Meanwhile the Farmers’ Union of Wales (FUW) has described the Bill as a ‘leap into the economic and legal unknown’.

FUW president Glyn Roberts said: “This has never been tried before anywhere in the world so we have no idea about the economic impact of such a scheme, and there are also big questions about its legality under the WTO rules.’’

Given this, and the uncertainty around the legality of public goods payments under the WTO Agreement on Agriculture, Mr Roberts said the bill represented a very dangerous leap into the unknown with potentially catastrophic consequences for food production, farming families and rural communities.