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New Scheme Will Support Farming Response to Climate Emergency and Drive Efficiency

Union welcomes Scottish Government launch of pilot Sustainable Agriculture Capital Grants Scheme

NFU Scotland has welcomed the announcement from Scottish Government that its pilot grant scheme, the Sustainable Agriculture Capital Grant Scheme (SACGS), will be open to applications on Monday 7 September.

The scheme provides farmers and crofters with the opportunity to co-finance capital investment on farm to increase efficiencies.  SACGS will provide capital grant funding of up to £20,000 for farmers and crofters to purchase specific items of agricultural equipment to cover 50% of capital items costs (or 60% if the business is in the Highlands and Islands).



The main objectives of the scheme are to protect and improve the natural environment, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and support sustainable farming and land use. The wide list of items and equipment eligible for support under SACGS (listed under cattle, sheep, general livestock, precision farming and general agriculture) is available to view at: https://bit.ly/31Nwkx8 ahead of the scheme opening to applications next week.  

NFU Scotland President Andrew McCornick said: “The £10m Sustainable Agriculture Capital Grant Scheme will assist farmers and crofters with grants towards expenditure on capital items. This sort of assistance will be key in supporting Scottish agriculture in its positive response to the climate emergency and drive forward a green recovery from COVID-19.

“In our view, this initial funding commitment must be substantially built upon going forward to deliver climate change targets and support a more significant number of farmers and crofters from all sectors across Scottish agriculture tackle climate change, increase biodiversity and improve water and air quality.

“Targeted support that is widely accessible to all sectors, providing a variety of options to suit different business types is required to drive a step change on farms and crofts.

“Scottish producers recognise that investing to improve their own business efficiency will reduce the volume of emissions per tonne of food produced and help drive efficiency and profitability.

“Significant capital investment in agricultural businesses is required if Scottish agriculture is to play as full a role as possible in supporting the Scottish Government’s ambitions around green growth.

“The SACGS pilot grant scheme is a positive first step forward in taking the transition to lower emissions in farming to the next level.  We would support a much larger scheme to follow this pilot with more options that will allow every farm and croft to access measures appropriate to their business.”

Notes to editors

  • Full details on eligibility and how to apply will be available from Monday 7 September on the Rural Payments & Services website: https://bit.ly/31Nwkx8


Ends

Contact Bob Carruth on 07788 927675

Author: Bob Carruth

Date Published:

News Article No.: 115/20


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