AN ATTEMPT to bridge a funding gap for new entrants to farming has been made by MEP George Lyon with amendments to the European Commission’s plans for the transitional period prior to the new common agricultural policy (CAP) beginning in January 2015.
Under the current Commission proposal, there would be no new money for new entrants, nor for crofters’ schemes, skills programmes or food and drink schemes that are covered by the Scottish rural development programme (SRDP).
Unless changes are made, Lyon, pictured below, claimed farmers would have to wait until the new SRDP is agreed before the EU cash would become available.
“That could potentially take months, leaving farmers with no access to EU cash from these programmes.,” he said.
He claimed his amendment would allow new CAP cash to continue to flow into Scotland, bridging the gap and ensuring the current schemes continue to provide support for farmers and crofters.
He said: “We have reached an agreement on the structure of the new CAP which will begin in 2015, but we need new transitional rules to ensure that essential support will continue next year.
“Commission proposals that would force farmers and crofters to wait for this funding run the risk of leaving some producers out of pocket and many others out of work. This would be wholly unacceptable.”