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Agribusiness News April 2023 – Policy Brief

3 April 2023

Beef Support Scheme (SSBSS) 2022

From the 28th March 2023 payments for the 2022 SSBSS 2022 scheme year will be paid at the following rates:

2023 Single Application Form

The submission period for 2023 Single Application Forms (SAF) opened on the 15th March 2023 and will close at midnight on Monday 15th May 2023.

A point to note for this year’s scheme is that, if the area of land has changed since 15th May 2022, businesses must submit a Land Change Notification (LCN) online using the Customer Proposal function with the LPIS Map Viewer on RP&S or submit a paper Land Maintenance Form (pLMF) with supporting documentation to their local area office.

LCNs should be submitted before the 16th April 2023 or they will not be processed until after the 15th May 2023, which could result in a delay in payment.

Ecological Focus Area – Agroforestry

This year, the EFA Agro-forestry option now includes stands of woodland established under the Small or Farm Woodland option FGS081-09 of the Forestry Grant Scheme (FGS).  Businesses claiming such plantings towards any EFA requirement, must use code EFAAF in the EFA section of the application.

Small Producers Pilot Fund

As part of the Agriculture Reform Programme, the Scottish Government has announced plans to replace the Small Farms Grants Scheme.  The new Small Producers Pilot Fund will be aimed at:

  • Increasing the proportion of food grown and processed by small farms and small holders;
  • Creating and growing more localised food supply chains;
  • Enhancing producer value;
  • Helping individual small producers to increase their resilience and to enhance their contribution to the rural economy;
  • Supporting small producers to develop their skill set; and
  • Cutting food miles and enhance sustainability.

The pilot scheme will be developed in partnership with the Scottish Agricultural Organisation Society (SAOS) and agriculture, smallholding and food industry stakeholders.

The industry-led steering group met for the first time on the 28th March 2023 with the remit of designing a range of new support measures that will support local food supply chains, improve access to the right training opportunities, and will help link together small producers into existing abattoirs.  The pilot scheme is expected to be launched later this year.

Enhanced Housing Support for Crofters

Aimed at improving homes in remote and rural communities, the Scottish Government has announced enhanced support measures under the Croft House Grant Scheme.

Grant rates for have been increased from 40% to 60% of the total project cost, with a ceiling of £28,000 for ‘Standard’ priority areas and £38,000 for ‘High’ priority areas within any ten-year period.  Grants for new houses have the same financial ceilings based on priority area.  ‘Standard’ and ‘High’ priority areas are defined by postcodes.

As crofting tenure requires crofters to live within 20 miles of their croft and provide their own housing, the Croft House Grant scheme can assist crofters to meet their statutory duty.  Eligible applications are assessed using a scoring system, which is designed to target support at those who would not be able to build or improve their home without grant support.  There are four application rounds every year, March, June, September and December.

The deadline for the next application round is 1 June 2023.

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