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New Entrants and Young Farmers Left in the Dark Over Support

New Entrants and Young Farmers are being left in the dark over vital support from new Rural Development schemes.

Applicants to the Young Farmers and New Entrants start-up and capital grant schemes currently have no idea whether their proposals have been successful in securing much-needed funding to ensure their fledgling businesses can take off.

Support due to be targeted exclusively at the new generation of Scottish farmers could see successful applicants, depending on business plans, receive up to €70,000 delivered in two tranches over a four year period.  That could provide a vital platform to assist anyone starting out in the industry.

Applications to the New Entrants and Young Farmers schemes were submitted to Scottish Government in September with most applicants expecting to know if they had been successful by December 2015.

However, the new generation of Scottish farmers have yet to hear if their claims are successful or not.   This is another unacceptable delay in what is now becoming a catalogue of problems and missed timetables by the Scottish Government in the implementation of the new CAP.  

NFU Scotland’s New Generation group will be meeting at the Rural Centre, Ingliston on Monday 8 February when chairmanship elections, potential for direct selling, agricultural holdings and delivery of targeted support schemes will be on the agenda. The Union is also meeting in private with representatives of the Scottish Association of Young Farmers Clubs today (26 January).

NFU Scotland Vice President Andrew McCornick said: “We have lots of talented and aspiring people across the country desperate to break into farming.   They have so much to offer the sector but currently they are being left in the wilderness by Scottish Government.

“These farmers have heard nothing since they submitted their applications.   Getting into farming can be difficult enough but the Scottish Government’s delay in determining the success of applications and the silence from them towards young farmers and new entrants risks undermining the ability of these young people to get on and farm.

“With the creation of his New Entrants group, the Cabinet Secretary Richard Lochhead has shown he wants to encourage people get into farming, helping to underpin our important food and drink sectors for years ahead.   For that to happen, he has to let these farmers know the outcome of their applications and when those who have been successful will get paid.”

Ends

Contact Bob Carruth on 0131 472 4006
 

Date Published:

News Article No.: 21/16


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