Agriculture and Rural Communities Bill

Supporting sustainable farming and crofting.

Legislation to support Scotland’s rural economy and communities has passed Stage 1 in Parliament.

MSPs voted in favour of the principles behind reforms to how the Scottish Government supports farming and food production in the Agriculture and Rural Communities Bill.

The Bill aims to help farmers and crofters to produce more of what we eat more sustainably, support their essential role in climate mitigation, and nature restoration. It will also create a framework of payments that is responsive to the sector’s needs and incentivises low carbon approaches.

Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Land Reform and Islands Mairi Gougeon said:

“Agriculture plays a significant role in our rural economy. Working side by side with farmers, crofters, land managers, and representative and stakeholder organisations, we have sought to create a new way of supporting farming into the 21st Century.

“Our nation needs rural communities to help deliver our priorities for the future – to produce high quality food more sustainably, cut carbon emissions, sequester more carbon, and restore and enhance nature and biodiversity. It is only our farmers, crofters and land managers who can deliver those outcomes, and all of Scotland owes a debt of support to them.

“I reiterate my commitment that farmers and crofters in Scotland will continue to receive direct support. We will transition to a different way of stewarding the land and producing food in a way that is just and by taking our agricultural industry and rural communities with us.”



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