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Agribusiness News November 2023 – Policy Brief

1 November 2023

RSABI Flood Funding & Forage Aid

Following the devastating damage caused by Storm Babet, Scottish farming and crofting families seriously affected by this extreme weather event can apply to the RSABI Flooding Fund for a grant of up to £1,000 per family.  Further details are available online at, by phoning the Helpline on 080 1234 555 or by applying for support funding online here.

RSABI are also working with Forage Aid who help UK farmers and crofters to prevent livestock suffering where feed, forage and/or bedding supplies have been affected by extreme weather events.  For further information on the Forage Aid help available please email

New Agriculture and Rural Communities Bill

As a replacement for the Common Agricultural Policy, the new Agriculture and Rural Communities (Scotland) Bill  aims to deliver the key ambitions set out in Scottish Government’s Vision for Agriculture. The legislation has been designed to provide an adaptive support framework:

  • To help farmers and crofters produce food more sustainably;
  • To support their role in delivering climate change mitigation and adaption;
  • To facilitate biodiversity restoration.

As part of Scottish Government’s vision for Scotland becoming a ‘global leader in sustainable and regenerative agriculture,’ the payment framework will incentivise a drive towards low carbon approaches aimed at improving the resilience, efficiency, and profitability of the sector.

Scottish Government has been appraising a list of Agricultural Reform measures that will best address climate mitigation, adaption, and nature restoration.  Further details of the aspects being considered as part of the reform measures can be found on the Rural Payments website: Agricultural Reform List of Measures (

As part of the planned programme of reforms, to help shape future support and how it is delivered, the next phase of public participation is open to all who wish to participate in surveys, interviews, online and in-person workshops.  Volunteers will be reimbursed with the amount varying by activity dependent on time involved.  To register interest, please use this link –

Funding for collaborative regional food and drink projects

Businesses and groups who wish to promote regional food products and establish new markets can bid for up to £5,000 of support funding through the Scottish Government’s Regional Food Fund.

The Fund aims to stimulate collaborative projects that drive the sales and promotion of regional food.  Eligible applicants include:

  • Individual businesses in the food and drink sector, including primary producers, on behalf of a collaborative group or project;
  • Regional and community groups (both rural and urban);
  • Regional food groups.

Further information and guidance is available online at

Applications forms for the scheme are available at through this link Regional Food Fund (RFF) – Oct 2023 (

The closing date for application is Friday 24th November at 5pm.

Rural and Islands Housing Action Plan

A new Rural and Islands Housing Action Plan will support the Scottish Government’s commitment to deliver 110,000 affordable homes by 2032, of which 11,000 will be in rural and island areas.

As part of the long-term Housing Strategy, Housing to 2040, Rural and Islands Housing Action Plan, the Scottish Government aims to commission research into affordable home ownership in rural and island areas and to work with local authorities and registered social landlords to deliver the demand-led Rural Affordable Homes for Key Workers Fund, with up to £25 million available to 2028.

Key dates


Christine Beaton,

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