Cash sweetener to tempt farmers to take part in survey

Farming businesses are being offered £50 to complete a survey aimed at helping the Scottish Government design and test approaches for rewarding those who deliver on the climate change and biodiversity fronts.

Rural Affairs Cabinet Secretary Mairi Gougeon
Rural Affairs Cabinet Secretary Mairi Gougeon

The move follows the launch of Track One of the National Test Programme in April which offers financial support to farmers and crofters undertaking Carbon Audit and Soil Analysis to draw up a national baseline and to help prepare their businesses for the future of sustainable and productive farming.

This week the administration announced that Track Two of National Test Programme had begun with “Testing Actions for Sustainable Farming” (TSF) – stating that this would help design, test, improve and standardise the tools, support and process necessary to reward farmers, crofters and land managers for the climate and biodiversity outcomes they deliver.

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Rural Affairs Cabinet Se cretary Mairi Gougeon said that the first phase of this latest round was a simple survey of multiple-choice questions to help those designing the new support regime understand current levels of awareness and experience of sustainable and regenerative agriculture.

She said that to ensure the survey results represented the breadth and diversity of farms and crofts across Scotland, a representative base of participants had already been invited to participate with a positive response from invitees.

“The survey is now open to farmers and crofters across Scotland. We want to hear from businesses in every part of the country, of all sizes and all stages of the sustainable farming journey. Even if your current awareness or knowledge is low, this survey is for you and your answers are important,” said Gougeon.

Participants who have completed the survey will be awarded the nominal fee of £50 within three weeks of the survey closing date for each tranche. The participation fee will be paid directly into the bank account associated with their support claims.

“I would encourage farmers, crofters and land managers to participate in this important programme as we develop the future of Scottish agriculture together,” said Gougeon.

While some producers may have received an email invitation asking them to respond, SGRPID said that those who hadn’t but would like to participate should contact the scheme’s delivery team by emailing [email protected] stating their business reference number (BRN).

“Subject to checking your details and providing the maximum number of participants has not been reached, they will send you the link to the survey from the survey provider,” said a spokesperson who added that someone else’s link shouldn’t be used as it could result in incorrect data being collated and non-payment of the participation fee.

“If you prefer, you can request a paper copy of the survey by either contacting the TSF Mailbox or your local Area Office. All paper copies will need to be returned before 28 August. Payment of the participation fee will be made within three weeks of the end of the survey tranche you participate in.”

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