As it unfolds, the true shortfalls of the Scottish Rural Development Programme are becoming apparent. The Scottish Crofting Foundation has been inundated with complaints and pleas for help from crofters and small-holders regarding the SRDP, the main route to Scottish Government support for rural enterprises.
SCF Past-Chair Norman Leask said “This is something that affects all rural development, crofting being one of the main enterprises in the Highlands and Islands. There were measures that were good for crofters in the old Land Managers Contracts and environmental schemes, for example the maintenance of footpaths for access to the countryside, animal health plans and membership of certain farm assurance schemes, but these have been taken out of the new Land Managers Options – the bit which can be accessed by post. So the only part of the SRDP that is fully accessible has little or nothing in it for crofters. The larger part, ‘Rural Priorities’, is out of the reach of many crofters, it being only accessible ‘on-line’ and so the only way they can apply is by paying for consultancy services to make an application for them – not cost effective for small initiatives.”
COP 26: Agriculture is an easy scapegoat, but us crofters will have to do our bit
Pic: Willie Urquhart By DONALD MACKINNON, chairman of the Scottish Crofting Federation. With world leaders gathering...