Farmers and crofters who are waiting for their 2016 payment under the Less Favoured Area Support Scheme (LFASS) will be offered a Scottish Government funded loan providing around £50 million of support.
Fergus Ewing, Rural Economy Secretary for the Scottish Government said:
“I can confirm that we are making available LFASS loans again this year. Letters will be issued before the end of the month to farmers inviting them to apply. This will deliver support of around £50 million to some of our most vulnerable farmers and crofters, providing much needed financial security in the coming months.”
Update on remaining 2016 payments
- Basic / Greening / Young Farmer (90% payments) – First payments now in bank accounts
- Basic / Greening / Young Farmer (top up 10%) – by end June 2017
- Scottish Suckler Beef Support and Scottish Upland Sheep Scheme – May 2017
- Rural Priorities – from July 2017
- Agri-Environment Climate Scheme and Forestry Grant Scheme – Autumn 2017
- Beef Efficiency Scheme – Autumn 2017
- Land Managers Options – Autumn 2017
Fergus Ewing further commented:
“We always knew 2016 would be a difficult year as we continue to increase the functionality of the IT system. That work means that some 2016 scheme payments have to be scheduled for later in the year and while that is not ideal, farm businesses need to know the likely timescales to help with their forward planning. “
“The schedule prioritises the payment of core direct support to reach the greatest number of farmers and crofters and I expect the vast majority of farmers and crofters will receive all their basic and greening payments by the end of June.”
“I want to reassure all farmers and crofters that officials continue to work flat out to a detailed plan to put 2016 payments on to a better footing.”
Earlier in the week Fergus Ewing announced funding of more than £2.5 million to help new entrants into farming. The latest award will see 47 new farming businesses share the money to help them create and develop their businesses.
Further funding has been identified for the Young Farmers and New Entrants Start-up Grant Schemes; applications for the next round of funding opened on 1st April 2017 and closes on 30thSeptember 2017.
Advice can be found here: New Entrants to Farming