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Rural Payments and Services

Rural Payments and Services

Rural Issues in Scotland


Latest news on CAP direct payments in the News section below.
 

Rural Scotland, covering 95 per cent of the land area and 18 per cent of the population, is an integral part of the country's economy, environment and culture. The Scottish Government's aim is to promote development in rural areas and empower communities.

The Scotland Rural Development Programme (SRDP) is a programme of economic, environmental and social measures, worth some £1.2 billion, designed to develop rural Scotland.

In Focus

Crofting reform

CroftingThe modernisation of Scotland's vital crofting sector has taken an 'important step forward' with the second phase of the Act's commencement.

As part of the implementation of the Crofting Reform Act 2010, the order laid in parliament will bring into force sections that will:

  • Transform the Crofters Commission into the Crofting Commission with a new constitution and powers commencing on 1 April 2012
  • Place duties on tenant and owner-occupied crofters to occupy and work their crofts, to be enforced by the Commission, from 1 October 2011.
  • Protect croft land by allowing the Land Court and the Commission to take into account a wider range of factors when deciding on resumption and de-crofting applications
  • Provide greater flexibility for the succession of crofts by allowing a croft to be bequeathed to two or more people

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Rural Payments and Services Planned Maintenance

To help minimise disruption to customers, we have now allocated a regular slot for planned maintenance of the Rural Payments and Services website. This will take place every Tuesday and Thursday evening between 21:00 and midnight, and Rural Payments and Services will not be available during these times. There may be occasional exceptions to this, such as when we need to apply urgent fixes– but, as always, we will seek to minimise service disruption wherever possible.

Updated Greening Booklet

Please have a look at the updated Greening booklet. The changes are highlighted in bold and with a green arrow for changes made in January 2015 and with an orange arrow for changes made in March 2015 on the left hand side so you can see at a glance what has been updated.

CAP delivery priority

Rural Affairs Secretary: latest farm stats ‘underline need’ for support.

Delivering the new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is an 'absolute priority’ for the Scottish Government, Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead has said.

Mr Lochhead’s comments follow the publication of the December 2014 Agricultural Survey and the opening of the Single Application Form (SAF) window. The window for submitting Single Application Forms (SAF) opened on Monday March 16, 2015 and will close on Friday May 15, 2015, as required by EU rules. Read the full News Release

Dairy Plan launched

Action plan aims to improve resilience of dairy sector.

Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead published a 25 point plan to help support the Scottish dairy sector on a visit to a dairy producer in Angus today (Tuesday March 24, 2015).

Mr Lochhead met with William and James Taylor, and their father William Snr, at Baldoukie Farm near Tannadice to launch the action plan which aims to improve the resilience of the sector and provide the right platform to ensure the entire industry can thrive in the context of volatile market prices.

He said:

“The dairy sector is vital to Scotland’s farming and food industry, and the wider rural economy. We have 900 dairy farms, with 2000 processing employees, which generate well over £400 million of output – that’s 15 per cent of our total farming productivity. This sector’s future is of real importance to Scotland.

“Scotland has a powerful brand – both at home and abroad – in its food and drink offering and the dairy sector is at the core of that. I look forward to putting today’s plan into action and working with all our partners on its successful delivery.

“We want to grasp the opportunity that the domestic market offers for our high-value products as well as accessing the lucrative overseas markets. I hope that the Scottish Dairy Plan will put the dairy sector on the same platform as Scotch Beef, salmon and whisky, delivering long-term sustainability and helping to shield it from the global volatility.”

The Scottish Dairy Plan takes into account the recommendations made by the Scottish Parliament’s Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee following its own enquiry into the Scottish dairy industry.

There are five main themes set out in today’s Plan:

  • Market development
  • Promoting best practice in dairy farming
  • Promoting a transparent and efficient supply chain
  • Supporting First Milk in transforming its operation in Scotland
  • Ensuring international rules are correct

Last year, in response to Ambition 2025, the Scottish Government established the Dairy Growth Board and Dairy Hub to drive forward moves towards a thriving dairy industry. The themes set out in today’s plan are in large measure to those set out in Ambition 2025

The full Scottish Dairy Plan can be found here