By Lucy Ashton
Welcoming the progress, Farming Minister Fergus Ewing, right, said: “Scotland’s farming community has worked hard, putting in long hours and days throughout lockdown to keep food on our plates.
“The global impact of the pandemic has highlighted the importance of food supply chains and should remind us all not to take food and food security for granted.
“Now, more than ever, it’s crucial we keep money flowing into our rural communities and keep funding our crofters and farmers.
“Despite the extraordinary challenges caused by the pandemic, I am delighted that we have delivered more than 95% – almost £400 million – of area based Pillar 1 payments to more than 97% of our eligible farmers and crofters, four months ahead of the 30 June target. Our 2020 payment strategy continues on track to deliver the remaining Scheme payments as planned.
“Meeting these targets during a global health pandemic is a huge achievement. Working from home, our teams have ensured that payments are made swiftly. We will continue do everything we can to support farmers and crofters as we gradually and safely move out of lockdown.
“In order to put us in the best position possible to make the coming year’s payments, I would like to ask farmers and crofters to submit their Single Application Form 2021 applications as soon as they can. Please don’t leave it to the last minute. The sooner the better.”
Drymen Show has unfortunately had to be cancelled due to the Covid pandemic.
As of 26 February 2021 almost £400 million of Pillar 1 payments have been paid to 16,931 businesses. This equates to 97.19% of eligible applicants and 95.51% of anticipated expenditure.
Pillar 1 figures are for Basic Payment Support, Greening and Young Farmer payments.
BPS, Greening and YFP payment runs commenced on 3 December with the first payments reaching bank accounts on 14 December 2020.
The submission period for SAF opens on 15 March 2021 and closes on 17 May 2021.
SAF applications can be submitted online or by filling out a paper application.
This is the last year for paper SAF applications. Area Office staff can support people to access the online system and ensure they have access to up to date information to help in completing the SAF. The online system will also provide checks to ensure basic errors are avoided.
Drymen Agricultural Show is one of the most popular events on the summer calendar.