Commenting on the announcement that Scotland’s Agri-Environment Climate Scheme will open for another round of funding applications in January 2021, albeit on a limited basis and without details of the level of support being made available, Orkney’s MSP, Liam McArthur said:
“Given the significant level of uncertainty faced by farmers and crofters at the present time, news that the Agri-Environment Climate Scheme will open next month is of course very welcome.
“For months, NFU Scotland has been calling on the Scottish Government to commit to extending the scheme. The support it provides for farming communities in Orkney and across our rural communities is essential. Those who rely on this funding have been crying out for such a decision.
“However, there is still little clarity about how much funding will be made available. Ministers must therefore set out these and other details as soon as possible and I will be pressing them to do so.
“I would also urge Ministers to give serious consideration to continuing the scheme beyond June 2021. Given the impact of the ongoing pandemic and the UK’s departure from the EU next year, this seems only reasonable in allowing farmers and crofters to deal with the challenges they face.”