Economic condition of crofting: 2019 to 2022

This is a report to the Scottish Parliament as outlined in the terms of section 51 of the Crofting Reform (Scotland) Act 2010, reflecting the economic condition of crofting and the measures taken by the Scottish Ministers, the Crofting Commission and others to support crofting during 2019 to 2022.

31. Future Measures

31.1. The Scottish Government's Vision for Agriculture was published on 2 March 2022. The vision outlines the Scottish Government's aim to transform how it will support farming and crofting and food production in Scotland, to become a global leader in sustainable and regenerative agriculture. This commitment will be the centre of the framework underpinning Scotland's future agriculture support regime from 2025 onwards. Allied to this, a new Scottish Agriculture Bill will be brought forward in 2023 to provide a replacement for the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).

31.2. A phased introduction of the Future Support Framework (FSF) from Single Application Form, from 2025 onwards, will offer a practicable model for reform, accounting for operational requirements and customer needs. Enhanced direct payments will launch first, as the Scottish Government's key mechanism to incentivise farmers and crofters to take meaningful action for climate and nature. The Enhanced tier is key to deliver the policy outcomes of the Vision for Agriculture and to meet the public commitment that 50% of direct payments will be 'conditioned' by 2025. It will require further conditionality to be introduced to existing support schemes, with revised Greening and Cross-Compliance rules, and the introduction of measures such as the Whole Farm Plan. The new Enhanced mechanisms will launch in 2026, and there will be flexibility to add or amend this in subsequent years.

31.3. A phased approach will require the extension of some existing schemes beyond 2024 to provide stability and security during a challenging time of rising industry input costs. It is intended for BPS and Greening, LFASS and VCS (voluntary coupled support) to be extended to enable the continuation of payments beyond 2026. The extension of other services such as AECS, Food Processing Marketing and Co-operation and the Farm Advisory Service would continue to provide the Elective and Complementary aspects of the future framework. The upcoming Agriculture Bill will provide the powers to enable these to continue until their replacements are phased in. The stability approach requires maintaining the existing approach to base payments including regions, subject to further convergence, with changes to base payments to be considered from 2027 onwards in the second FSF launch phase.

31.4. Work is underway to co-develop our long term policy for rural support and the Scottish Government has already taken action to accelerate its delivery towards climate and environmental outcomes. The Agriculture Reform Implementation Oversight Board and National Test Programme embodies the transitional approach and will be used to assist in identifying conditionality that can be introduced to existing support and form future conditionality within the FSF. This approach enables the industry to test new conditionality options and provides clarity to the industry and time for businesses and stakeholders to plan and adapt to any proposed changes.



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