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04/03/20 09:11

Agricultural support underway

£86.2 million of convergence payments now underway.

More than 17,400 active farmers and crofters have now received their individual allocation of convergence funding.
 
These initial convergence payments are the first tranche of a £160 million package the UK Government has agreed to pay to rectify a ‘historic wrong’ relating to EU Common Agricultural Policy funding that it failed to pass on to Scotland between 2014-18.  Further payment will be made in the coming weeks to ensure every eligible farmer and crofter, including new claimants in 2019 receive a payment by the end of March.
 
A cap of £55,000 will be applied to the Basic Payment element of individual entitlements.
 
Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said:

“Since successfully persuading the UK Government of the need to return this money to Scotland, I have been conscious of the need to adhere to the spirit and original premise of convergence by ensuring it goes to those who it was originally intended to support. Our approach ensures that this vital funding gets to where it needs to be.
 
“With Pillar 1 payments already underway, it is the Scottish Government which is providing Scotland’s farmers and crofters with the certainty and financial stability they deserve.”
 
Background
 
The initial £80 million of convergence funding was announced to support active farming, with a focus on those who farm in our marginal uplands, hill farms and island areas. This included £52 million to be paid across Basic Payment Support regions.
 
Further support for farmers and crofters, including redistribution of an additional £10 million for 2019 to 2020 was announced on 5 November 2019.