LFASS and SFP in CAP reform rollover

Richard Lochhead, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and Environment.

Richard Lochhead, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and Environment.

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Main funding schemes for farmers will be rolled over into 2014 as the reformed Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) kicks in, European politicians agreed earlier this week.

Bridging arrangements will be made for Single Farm Payment, Less Favoured Area support and existing agri-environmental work in the move agreed on Monday.

NFU Scotland president, Nigel Miller described the news as “welcome”.

He said: “The key funding priorities for Scottish agriculture in 2014 – SFP, LFASS and existing five-year agri-environment agreements – now appear to be covered, but finding money for other items on the rural development wishlist will remain difficult.”

“Farmers already face the likelihood of financial discipline reducing their direct support, so it is clear that every penny that can be delivered to farm businesses will count.

The plans were outlined at Monday’s EU Council meeting in Luxembourg and mean there will be no gap between the existing CAP and the new policy.

Scotland’s Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead similarly welcomed the agreement, also hoping the wishlist, including the likes of support for new farmers, would also get support.

He said.”Although it is a huge step in the right direction, we will continue to seek maximum flexibility and the availability to roll the whole programme – including for example support for new entrants, food grants and village halls – forward for another year to the beginning of 2015, to ensure we can support all our priority areas.”