News

Payments For Less Favoured Area Status Being Made

Less Favoured Area Payments for farmers and crofters are being paid over the coming weeks. There are 11,000 eligible farmers and crofters  who will receive payment in the coming weeks. Many had  taken up to 90% of their 2018 entitlement under the national loan scheme announced earlier this year by the Scottish Government.

The deadline for applying for a Less Favoured Area Support Scheme loan is midnight on Friday, 12th April 2019.

less favoured area map

The Less Favoured Area Support Scheme is essential for Scottish farmers and crofters and the Scottish Government has pledged to continue this until 2020.

Changes to regulations governing LFASS are being made by the European Commission. The Scottish Government has pledged that  LFASS support will be retained at 80% in 2019 and 40% in 2020 – the only part of the UK to continue such a payment.

Funding is used to:

  • allow farmers and crofters to continue to operate as viable businesses
  • avoid the risk of land abandonment
  • help maintain the countryside by ensuring continued agricultural land use
  • maintain and promote sustainable farming systems
Less Favoured Area 2017

Scottish Government Rural & Environment Science & Analytical Services

You can find out more about support for Scotland’s farmers and crofters here: Rural Payments and Services

The UK Government, DEFRA, is changing the way farming is supported, see: Agriculture Bill . Although Farming is a devolved issue, Brexit has meant that the industry is being ‘reformed’ and this is being done by the UK Government.

Fergus Ewing, Rural Economy Secretary in the Scottish Government  said:

Fergus Ewing“We are working hard to provide as much certainty to support farmers and crofters as we can. This money will provide a welcome cash injection to businesses and the wider rural economy.

“With the deadline for applying for a loan approaching, I would encourage anyone who has yet to accept a loan offer to do so by 12 April.

“With further payments being made in the coming weeks, I am confident that the majority of awards will be made by the end of June in line with our payment schedule.

“However, with Brexit continuing to present the biggest threat to the industry, the Scottish Government continues to work with others to further extend Article 50 to avoid a catastrophic ‘no deal’ outcome and allow time for a second referendum on EU membership.”

Related story: “A no deal Brexit is by far the biggest threat to farming and to our successful food and drink sector.”

Reporter: Fiona Grahame

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