The ‘Iaith y Pridd’ (‘Language of the Land’) report was recently published by Farming Connect and gave members of the farming community an opportunity to voice their opinion on “How can agriculture contribute to the aim of reaching a target of a million Welsh speakers by 2050?”. Opportunities were provided to contribute ideas via focus groups, interviews in agricultural shows, an “agri-booth” and an online questionnaire on how to create more favourable conditions for the Welsh language within the sector.
A greater percentage of workers in the agricultural industry speak Welsh than in any other sector in Wales, and the proportion of Welsh speakers in the industry (43%) is significantly higher than that of the population as a whole (19%). Therefore, there is a strong connection between the future of agriculture and the future of the language. Given the strength of this relationship, the report felt that consideration should be given to whether the industry can support the Welsh Government’s ambition of creating a million Welsh speakers by 2050.
The report suggests that the government should implement changes to improve the viability of Welsh as a community language. The recommendations include ‘Ensuring that policies and the benefit payment system support industry on the family farm’ and ‘Ensuring that the design system supports rural enterprises and communities.’ The report’s findings has also been supported by the Welsh Language Commissioner.