AGRICULTURE: New funding for farmers in Dunbartonshire and South Argyll

Supporting sustainable farming in Glen Fruin, Argyll and Lomond hills

Sheep farmers who took prizes at the Drymen Show this summer.
By Bill Heaney

Farmers and crofters in West Dunbartonshire and South Argyll will receive funding towards the purchase of agricultural equipment chosen for its effectiveness in reducing greenhouse gases.

Letters with grant offers worth almost £18 million are being sent to over 3,500 eligible farmers and crofters as part of the Sustainable Agriculture Capital Grant Scheme.

Successful applicants will have until 21 December 2020 to accept their offer; following which, they will have until 31 March 2021 to purchase the equipment and claim the grant.

Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing – move to lower greenhouse gas emissions.

Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said:  “There is no doubt that farm and food production businesses will be required and are ready to play a significant role in meeting our climate change targets. We received 3,735 applications for this scheme and I am pleased to say that I am able to increase the initial £10 million budget and offer up to £18 million in support to farmers and crofters to invest in new equipment, which will enable the changes necessary to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“I would urge applicants to consider carefully the conditions of grant and to proceed quickly to take up the offer.

“This pilot scheme will offer us a valuable opportunity to assess uptake, estimate the potential scale of greenhouse gas reductions and use this feedback to inform the development of future policy and support mechanisms.”

The Sustainable Agriculture Capital Grant Scheme is a pilot scheme which will provide grant support for farmers and crofters to purchase specific equipment, which were chosen for their effectiveness in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, as well as delivering co-benefits through supporting sustainable farming, by improving land and livestock management and improving air and water quality.

The scheme is funded through £20 million capital funding which was allocated to the Agricultural Transformation Programme for year 2020-21.

The scheme opened on 7 September and closed 11 October 2020, receiving 3,735 applications. All claims will need to be submitted by 31 March 2021.

The scheme will be monitored to assess its effectiveness; taking account of the scheme design, cost and the estimated impact on greenhouse gas emission reductions.

Cattle being paraded by local farmers at the Drymen Show.

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