Hill farmers and crofters were relieved to hear that they are to receive 100% of their LFASS (Less Favoured Area Support Scheme) grant from the Scottish Government .
Fergus Ewing Rural Economy Secretary in the Scottish Government said:
“Unlike England, who discontinued their equivalent scheme some years ago, Scotland continues to operate this key measure to compensate for the extra costs incurred by farmers in our most remote and challenging areas.
“I continue to press the UK Government for a clear statement about what is guaranteed post-Brexit to support our rural economy. While committing to the ‘same cash total in funds for farm support’ during of this Parliament’, they have given no detail of what this actually means.
“With 85% of Scotland’s agricultural area classed as less favoured, future support for farmers and crofters is crucial to ensure the economic viability and sustainability of these remote areas.”
There are currently around 20,500 crofts across the crofting counties of Argyll, Caithness, Inverness, Orkney and Shetland, Ross & Cromarty and Sutherland (15,000 tenanted crofts and 5,500 owned).
Crofters make up around 10% of the Highlands and Islands population, with over 33,000 people live in crofting households. Receiving the LFASS grant is of vital importance to them as farmers, crofters and to sustain a way of life.