Tractor in the outer Isles

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SCF REJECTS VISION FOR THE FUTURE OF SCOTTISH AGRICULTURE

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

The Scottish Crofting Federation (SCF) has rejected the Scottish Government’s published vision for the future of Scottish agriculture on the grounds that crofting barely features in it.

“Despite successive ministers for crofting giving assurances that the Scottish Government is very supportive of crofting”, said the SCF’s chair, Fiona Mandeville, “this doesn’t seem to be shared by those who make agricultural policy. The Scottish Government published their vision entitled ‘the Future of Scottish Agriculture’ and crofting is mentioned in only one of the nine outcomes. Crofting plays a vital role in the supply of high quality replacement stock and store animals, in maintaining High Nature Value landscape and in retaining vibrant rural populations. But despite the huge contribution crofting makes, it is hardly recognised in this top-level document.”

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FIVE ACTIONS FOR CROFTING

Thursday, March 24, 2016

With the commencement of the campaigns for the Scottish elections, the Scottish Crofting Federation (SCF) is challenging political parties to lay out in their manifestos how they will deliver for crofting based on ‘Five Actions for Crofting’.

“We are keeping this simple”, said SCF’s chair Fiona Mandeville, “by presenting just the top five actions that must be addressed by the next Scottish Government. We have widespread agreement that by tackling these five areas the Scottish Government can make a real and positive impact on crofting communities and on rural Scotland.”

The ‘Five Actions for Crofting’ are:

- Target Financial Incentives

- Simplify Crofting Legislation

- Make Crofts Available

- Increase Affordable Housing

- Deliver Crofting Development

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LFASS LETTER PANNED

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Some crofters have been “confused and concerned” by a Scottish Government letter regarding payments to be made under the government’s interim Less Favoured Areas Supports Scheme (LFASS).

The interim scheme is intended to pay out an estimate of crofters’ and farmers’ entitlements to LFASS and has been brought in due to the financial hardship being caused by the failure of the government’s new IT system for agricultural payments.

Scottish Crofting Federation vice-chair Russell Smith said, “The interim payment of LFASS is most welcome given the inordinate delay to the Basic Payment, but the tone of the government’s letter to crofters is confusing and unintentionally alarming.”

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