Tractor in the outer Isles

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Crofters are Being Set Up to Take the Hit

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Scottish Crofting Federation (SCF) questions the low figures quoted for crofting support and urge crofters to speak out in the Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) consultation closing this week.

“The CAP reform is going from the sublime to the ridiculous” said SCF Chief Executive Patrick Krause. “In the Direct Payments consultation, the Scottish Government is proposing the pitiful rate of 20 to 25 euros per hectare for rough grazing land, where some of the world’s most unique and prized landscape is to be found. We are very surprised and dismayed to see this figure. Over 60% of land in Scotland that is supported by the CAP is rough grazing and it is this type of land that crofters manage in remote and fragile areas. It is being suggested that holdings on higher quality agricultural land get ten times this amount. In other words, the proposal is that less than 40% of agricultural land should take from 85 to 90% of the budget. There is no doubt that the pot is limited, but the conclusion one must draw is that the Scottish Government is prepared to allocate it in a way that keeps the farms on better land happy and crofters take the hit.

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Crofters Need to Stand Against “The Big Boys” says their Federation

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

On the back of recent gains, the Scottish Crofting Federation (SCF) has appealed to crofters to come out and provide the support they need against the lobbying of the “Big Boys” in the current reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).

“Crofters, as usual, have to fight well above their weight to get what should be coming to them from the CAP” said Patrick Krause, SCF Chief Executive. “The small producers in the North and West are up against the big businesses trying to keep the public money flowing into the South and East. Their representative organisations have a very strong lobby and it is no mean feat for the crofters to get a win now and then.

“So it was music to our ears to hear Cabinet Secretary Richard Lochhead say that he is ‘minded to look at having a separate scheme for crofting in the new rural development programme’ in our recent meeting with him and his colleague the minister Paul Wheelhouse. We have had to fight very hard for this and are looking forward to good result. Where did the suggestion that the crofters’ grant be opened up to the whole of Scotland come from? One need look no further than the afore-mentioned lobby.

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