The National Farmers' Union of Scotland (NFU Scotland) has welcomed the launch of the SNP Government’s National Basic Payment Support Scheme, which will provide vital financial support for Scottish farmers, following almost a year of extreme weather conditions.
Loan payments will be made to eligible farmers from early October, easing cash flows. A similar scheme was created in 2017, which delivered payments of more than £317 million to over 13,500 farmers.
The Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy Fergus Ewing MSP said:
“Farmers are the backbone of Scotland’s rural economy, and we understand that many of them have really suffered this year due to the unprecedented severe weather experienced in 2018.
“We will be issuing loan offers shortly, providing a much-needed cash injection for those feeling the effects of increased prices for feed and fodder, the impact of restraints on irrigating their land, and in some cases resorting to selling livestock earlier than planned to preserve fodder for breeding stocks.”
Kenneth Gibson MSP added:
“The SNP Government is committed to supporting our farmers, and have responded by taking decisive action to make this extra funding stream available.
Commenting, NFU Scotland President Andrew McCornick said:
“The past 12 months have been very difficult for farmers across the whole of Scotland. Record rainfall in parts, the ‘Beast from the East’ and the driest spell for 40 years has put incredible pressure on farmers and crofters in terms of keeping their businesses going.
“Knowing that the basic scheme payment loan scheme will be paid in October is great news. It will provide some much-needed reassurance as well as ease cash flows on farms and crofts, helping anyone who needs to talk to their bank about borrowings that may be needed to help them through this fodder crisis.”