Scottish farmers and crofters can now claim additional funding for specialist advice on business efficiency as part of an Integrated Land Management Plan (ILMP) through the Farm Advisory Service (FAS).
As part of an ILMP, aimed at identifying business strengths and opportunities, farmers can also choose to apply for two related specialist advice plans. Specialist advice allows farmers to enlist the help of a qualified technical expert who can take a deeper look at specific issues of concern or interest within a business, helping to build capacity in new areas and improve technical knowledge.
Funding for specialist advice is split over two advisory fields; business efficiency advice, for which applicants can apply for up to £800 worth of funding for business consultancy – an increase of £300 from previous levels; and public good advice, for which there is up to £1000 worth of support available.
Advice can cover a range of topics including soil and nutrient management, organics, biodiversity and animal welfare.
The various advice elements can be used in combination with a carbon audit to maximise the support available to applicants. For example: a business can apply for an ILMP, plus 2 different elements of business efficiency advice on specialist topics, totalling £2,800 worth of funding for an outlay of £700 plus VAT.
In addition, farmers can choose to apply for a carbon audit to identify performance improvements and potential savings, helping to add to the overall efficiency of a business. In this scenario, the inclusion of a carbon audit raises the value of potential funding to a grand total of £3,300 available to invest in business efficiency-focused, expert consultancy.
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