Call for volunteers to join ‘Agri Bank’

A new scheme has been launched to support local farmers taken ill during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Menter Môn says it hopes its ‘Agri Bank’ skills database will ensure practical help is available at short notice to farmers who are unable to work.

The scheme is encouraging anyone with relevant skills to volunteer and register with the bank so they can be called up to carry out essential agricultural work when needed.

Both Anglesey and Gwynedd county councils are backing the scheme, alongside NFU Cymru, the Farmers Union of Wales and Conwy Cynhailol,

FUW President Glyn Roberts said: ”It’s a difficult time for all of us, so we must make sure that we support each other as best we can. This scheme is going to make sure that help is available to anyone who needs it, those who may be suffering because of the virus.”

NFU Cymru Vice President Aled Jones added: ”There has never been a time like this to show the importance of working together and working across several sectors and industries.”

”I would ask people to register with Agri Bank if you need help or if you can use your skills to support farmers. The message is clear do not hesitate to ask for help if you have work you need to do.”

The agricultural community is seen as key to ensuring the continuity of food supplies during the current crisis.

Menter Môn says farming work must continue when a farmer becomes ill, whether it’s looking after animals or tending to crops.

Sioned McGuigan said: ”We will register the details of people who have relevant skills and are keen to volunteer with Agri Bank. Then if a farmer or a member of their family becomes ill, they can contact us to arrange help on the farm.”

”We are keen to encourage anyone with skills such as tractor driving, handling machinery or animal husbandry to register with us using the form on the Menter Môn website.”

”We fully understand that this is a difficult time for everyone, so we want to do everything we can to help and make things easier for our communities. We will also of course ensure that social distancing rules are fully implemented throughout and take appropriate action to ensure everyone’s safety.”

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