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Crofting Federation urges Scottish Government to distribute future funding fairly

By Gregor White

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The Scottish Crofting Federation wants changes to rural funding.
The Scottish Crofting Federation wants changes to rural funding.

The Scottish Crofting Federation (SCF) says it is "unclear" how future splits of the country's agricultural budget will impact crofters.

Speaking after First Minister Humza Yousaf addressed the NFUS conference it said in a statement: "While SCF is keen to see the less favoured area support retained in some form, we are extremely disappointed that it appears it will still be available to more than just those who live and work in remote areas with poor weather, poor ground and suffer additional costs as a result."

Chairman Jonathan Hedges, said: “The SCF will keep pushing for the inclusion of a mandatory redistribution of payments into the Agriculture and Rural Communities Framework Bill.

"In line with the EU’s common agricultural policy, to which the Scottish Government has promised to stay aligned, we are asking for a cap of direct payments at a certain hectarage and for more funding allocated towards the first hectares of payment.

"Further, we are asking them to abolish the minimum threshold of 3ha as eligibility criterium to access direct payments.

"This will ensure that crofters receive a fair share of the agricultural budget and helps to build a more resilient food system for the future.”

SCF will be joining fellow organisations in a demonstration at the Scottish parliament on Monday, for a future agricultural policy that benefits crofters and other small-scale producers, instead of distributing millions of public money to the country’s largest private landowners.

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