Consultation on more allotment land in Wales
A push to free up more land in Wales for people to grow their own food could receive a significant boost.
Proposals are being set out on allotments which could see Welsh government land and unused plots handed over to communities.
Public and private landowners are also being encouraged to back allotment initiatives.
Natural Resources Minister John Griffiths is launching the consultation in a Cardiff community garden.
He said turning more land into allotments would also help boost physical, mental and emotional wellbeing of those taking part.
The Welsh government said its plans in a green paper will build on the good work which it said is already being done in Wales to help promote and facilitate sustainable community growing.
The proposals include:
- Issuing guidance to local authorities on promoting and supporting community grown food
- Making Welsh government-owned land available for community grown food and encouraging and supporting public and private landowners to do the same
- Supporting farmers to address barriers in providing land for allotments or community grown food
- Establishing a right for local authorities, community councils, and constituted community groups to register and use unused public land, or land where no owner can be established, for growing community food
Mr Griffiths said: "People growing food for themselves and their families is a special pastime for many in Wales and can be enjoyed by individuals and groups of all ages, abilities and financial means.
"It has recently become more popular than ever and many local authorities are struggling to meet demand for allotments.
"Making more land available is therefore vital in meeting this demand and in contributing to boosting physical, mental and emotional wellbeing."
He added: "Opportunities for people to enjoy growing and gardening also have a part to play in tackling the limitations of poverty, empowering and regenerating communities.
"More productive use of land in our our community through allotments and growing spaces can also provide social benefits, bringing communities together and assisting in their regeneration."
The minister urged anybody with an interest in allotment to have they say on the issue.
The consultation will be open until 6 October, 2014.