Advanced BPS & Greening Payments
Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon has confirmed that, subject to the approval of the Scottish Parliament, in an effort to support Scotland’s farmers with cash flow and the cost of living crisis, farmers and crofters will now receive their annual advance payment for the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) and Greening in September,
Under the advance payment process, businesses will be paid a percentage of their calculated 2022 BPS and Greening payments; while still to be agreed, it is expected to be at least 95%.
It is anticipated that advanced payments could deliver around £262m (62% anticipated expenditure) to 13,500 (77%) of businesses between 19 September and 1 December 2022. With over 95% anticipated expenditure to have been delivered by end February 2023.
Women in Agriculture
The Scottish Government has announced a £100,000 a year funding package for three years for the Women in Agriculture Training Fund to support the personal development of women, providing them with additional skills to progress their careers and employment opportunities in Scottish agriculture beyond their current role.
Courses eligible for funding can include business skills; environmental and sustainability; health and safety; plants and animals; vehicles, machinery, and equipment. 100% funding is available for training up to the value of £500 per course. Courses with higher training fees will be considered on a case per case basis.
Women and girls resident and working in Scottish agriculture; are keen to join the industry and/or are on a full-time or part-time agriculture course are eligible to apply for grant funding.
Agriculture Strategic Research Programme (SRP)
The Scottish Government have announced a £200 million funding package to be delivered over a five year period. The Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture Strategic Research (SRP) Programme will provide funding for projects which aim to boost food security in Scotland and address the biodiversity and climate crises will benefit from support funding e.g.
- Research into vertical farming systems.
- How to reduce climate change emissions from farming and livestock.
- Vaccine research into animal diseases.
Safeguarding Food Security
Amidst concerns around food security, new analysis of the red meat industry in Scotland highlights the Scottish livestock sector’s important contribution to the UK’s overall levels of self-sufficiency in red meat, and a rebound in the value of export sales in spite of the challenges caused by leaving the European Union’s single market.
Despite the rise of alternative proteins, the Red Meat Industry Profile report highlights that that demand for beef, lamb and pork remains on an upward trajectory, and that with the Scottish Government firmly focused on achieving Net Zero by 2045, emissions per unit of output are likely to be reducing.
Also, the findings of the Food Security and Supply Taskforce which was set up in March to respond to any potential disruption to food security and supply, resulting from Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine, have been published. Key findings and recommendations for the agricultural industry include:
- Finding: While there is greater strain on the food supply chain than has been seen for many years – immediate supplies of food and animal feed in Scotland are secure.
- Recommendation: Supporting improved cash flow for individual businesses and farmers.
- Recommendation: To encourage the UK Government to look at how the “fair dealing” powers in the Agriculture Act 2020 might be used more broadly to ensure fair treatment of agricultural producers.
The return of the Royal Highland Show last week gave Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) the opportunity to release their Beef Strategy 2030 which sets out key objectives for the beef sector to achieve a strong future for the industry.
With invaluable industry input and consultation, the strategy looks to build on current strengths and address some of the weaknesses and threats and to deliver the vision that by 2030, the Scottish beef supply chain will comprise profitable, sustainable, and resilient businesses built on a skilled workforce.
The Scottish beef industry will seek to continue to deliver high-value, quality beef and beef products to domestic and international customers, produced to world-leading animal health and welfare standards in a way that has reduced the sector’s carbon emissions by 75% from 1990 levels.
For more up to date market info, see the latest edition of Agribusiness News
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