Scotland’s First Minister Humza Yousaf has pledged at least 70 percent of future funding to be delivered in Tiers 1 and 2 of new Scottish agricultural policy.
The funding commitment to future farming policy was made at NFU Scotland's annual conference in Glasgow today (9 February).
In his address, Mr Yousaf reiterated Scottish government’s commitment that there would be ‘no cliff edges’ in support as Scotland transitions between existing schemes and the introduction of the new four tier framework.
He informed delegates that funding for Tiers 1 and 2 will constitute at least 70% of the overall funding envelope to support farming, crofting and land management from 2027.
These are the tiers that will reflect most closely the current direct payment regime that delivers schemes such as Basic Payment Scheme and Greening.
The First Minister also announced that, in addition, funding for the replacement for the Less Favoured Areas Support Scheme, currently worth £65m, will be made available through Tier 2 once the replacement scheme has been decided.
NFU Scotland President Martin Kennedy said farmers across the country would welcome the clarity on future levels of support.
He said: “Equally important was the First Minister’s recognition of the economic importance of our sector and his stated ambition that he wants to see our production of high-quality food and drink grow.
"That needs farming and crofting to be at the heart of the new agricultural policy and this Tier 1 and Tier 2 funding announcement is a lobbying success for NFU Scotland.
“For our highly productive, unsupported sectors such as pigs, poultry, horticulture and potatoes, funding in Tiers 3 and 4 will be vital in providing support for business development, investment and growth."
However, Mr Kennedy said there was still 'a huge unknown' surrounding agricultural funding made available to Scotland by Westminster .
"We are in an election year, and we have made our case clear that we need at least another £1b to be added to the UK budget for agriculture," he said.
“Under the current financial arrangement, that would see at least another £170m to go into the Scottish agricultural budget."