First Minister Delivers Funding Commitments at NFU Scotland Conference in Glasgow

At least 70 per cent of future funding to be delivered in Tiers 1 and 2 of new agricultural policy.

NFU Scotland has welcomed the funding commitment to future Scottish agricultural policy made by First Minister Humza Yousaf MSP when he addressed more than 400 delegates at the Union’s annual conference in Glasgow today (9 February).

In his address, the First Minister reiterated Scottish Government’s commitment that there would be ‘no cliff edges’ in support as Scotland transitions between existing schemes and the introduction of the new four tier framework. 

He informed delegates that funding for Tiers 1 and 2 will constitute at least 70 per cent of the overall funding envelope to support farming, crofting and land management from 2027. These are the tiers that will reflect most closely the current direct payment regime that delivers schemes such as Basic Payment Scheme and Greening.

The First Minister also announced that, in addition, funding for the replacement for the Less Favoured Areas Support Scheme, currently worth £65 million, will be made available through Tier 2 once the replacement scheme has been decided.

Responding at the event, President Martin Kennedy said: “We welcome the First Minister delivering clarity on future levels of support to be delivered under Scotland’s future agricultural policy.

“Equally important was the First Minister’s recognition of the economic importance of our sector and his stated ambition that he wants to see our production of high-quality food and drink grow. That needs farming and crofting to be at the heart of the new agricultural policy and this Tier 1 and Tier 2 funding announcement is a lobbying success for NFU Scotland.

“For our highly productive, unsupported sectors such as pigs, poultry, horticulture and potatoes, funding in Tiers 3 and 4 will be vital in providing support for business development, investment and growth. 

“However, current experience of some schemes is that the regulatory, planning and administrative hoops that applicants are having to jump through to access funds are acting as a disincentive and, in some cases, leading to an underspend in some schemes. We want to work with Scottish Government to ensure, in the future, Tier 3 and Tier 4 funding can be easily drawn down so that it acts as the economic driver that it was intended to be.

“The huge unknown is all of this is what agricultural funding will be made available to Scotland by Westminster and that we have no certainties beyond the end of the current parliament. We are in an election year, and we have made our case clear that we need at least another £1b to be added to the UK budget for agriculture.

“Under the current financial arrangement, that would see at least another £170m to go into the Scottish agricultural budget. We already have the backing of the Lib Dems on this extra £1b and they have agreed to this in their manifesto. We want that same commitment from all other parties when manifestos start to emerge. 

“We can have the best agricultural policy in the world but if there’s no meaningful funding to deliver it, that would be a cliff edge for our members.”   

Notes for Editors

  • The Union’s National AGM, Conference and Council meeting took place at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Glasgow, G2 8DL on Thursday 8 and Friday 9 February 2024, sponsored by Scotbeef and M&S Food. As the Union looks to secure a profitable and sustainable future for its members, the conference focused on the role of the regulation, market and supply chains in delivering that. 


Contact Bob Carruth on 0131 472 4006

Author: Bob Carruth

Date Published:

News Article No.: 13/24

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About The Author

Bob Carruth

A dairy farmer’s son, I joined NFU Scotland in 1999 after 13 years as an agricultural journalist. Following spells as a regional manager and policy lead on milk, livestock and animal health and welfare, I became Communications Director in 2008.

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