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New Generation Focus on Funding Package

NFU Scotland’s New Generation Group has pledged to work with Scottish Government to ensure its newly announced funding package for new entrants be targeted effectively at those currently excluded from the existing Single Farm Payment (SFP) support scheme.

At NFU Scotland’s recent Centenary AGM, held in St Andrews on 12 and 13 February, Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Richard Lochhead announced a £2 million fund to help new entrants.

Discussing that fund at its recent meeting, the Union’s New Generation group recognised how important that pot could be.

New Generation spokesman, Iain Mackay, from Torloisk, Isle of Mull said:

“To ensure effective delivery of the £2 million announced by the Scottish Government, monies should be allocated to new entrant businesses who have been excluded from SFP.  Without access to direct support, those businesses will be struggling to survive at the moment with the prospect of remaining excluded from any new SFP arrangements until 2015.

“Targeting this money at the most deserving recipients will be a challenge.  However, it is something we must get right and views are welcome on how this can be achieved.

“As a group, we will also work with NFU Scotland’s officeholders as the debate around CAP Reform intensifies.  With a CAP deal still likely this summer, we want to ensure the new arrangements learn lessons from the past scheme and that those entering our industry don’t immediately find themselves at a competitive disadvantage.

“We also want to help shape the replacement rural development plan for Scotland. That plan should have scope for a new entrant/young farmers scheme to support those building up their business.  Those formative years of any business are crucial and we want to help set them off on as strong a footing as possible.

“It is clear that the many of the challenges faced by New Generation farmers in Scotland are shared with others in the UK.  This May will see NFUS New Generation members travel to Wales to meet the Welsh Assembly and discuss its young farmers scheme as well meeting our counterparts in NFU England and Wales.  That trip, part financed by our award from the Tennents Seed Fund, will be a very useful information sharing exercise.”   

Ends

Contact Bob Carruth on 0131 472 4006

Date Published:

News Article No.: 34/13


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