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.