Busy year ahead for farmers union

NFU Scotland president Nigel Miller
NFU Scotland president Nigel Miller

Borders livestock farmer, NFU Scotland president Nigel Miller says 2014 is going to be ‘pivotal’ for the industry as CAP reform shakes down.

Farmers and union officials hope to play central roles in setting out a new rural development programme (SRDP), pushing for an LFASS re-base, contributing to the Agricultural Holdings review and re-designing the Nitrate Vulnerable Zones (NVZs)

Writing in the union’s annual report, Mr Miller said: “The next 12 months are a pivotal point in defining Scotland’s future farmed landscape and productive potential. There is a considerable amount of work to be done.”

Basics concerning CAP include the regionalising of the country and transition from historic support, greening details for the arable sector and seizing what coupled option there is, he said.

“There is a determination both in government and the farming community that the new CAP will bring new and developing businesses into full support from day one.”

LFA support remains the core priority for discussions on Pillar 2 he said. The new SRDP, hopefully “stripped out” of complex application procedures, would be “coloured” by climate change, he said: “Designing win-wins can deliver for all stakeholders: the union will be at the centre of this development process.”

“The independence referendum will dominate the political skyline in Scotland but there are other major decisions to be taken in 2014 that will be fundamental to the future of many members,” he said.