Knowledge fund can help combat climate change in farming

A scheme which will calculate ‘carbon trotterprints’ for pig herds on Scottish farms is among a series of projects to gain new funding under the last round of the Knowledge Transfer and Innovation Fund.

Scottish Agritourism conference, Perth Concert Hall, 10th November, 2021. 

Mairi Gougeon, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and Islands unveiled as part of the Scottish Agritourism conference held at Perth Concert Hall today (10 November 2021), Scottish Agritourism 2030 - The Strategy for Sustainable Growth sets out a shared vision for the sector. 

Pictured is Mari Gougeon at the podium.
Scottish Agritourism conference, Perth Concert Hall, 10th November, 2021. Mairi Gougeon, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and Islands unveiled as part of the Scottish Agritourism conference held at Perth Concert Hall today (10 November 2021), Scottish Agritourism 2030 - The Strategy for Sustainable Growth sets out a shared vision for the sector. Pictured is Mari Gougeon at the podium.

Supported by funds from the Scottish Government, the successful projects are all aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions and tackling climate change in agriculture and food production.

The chosen projects have a specific focus on resource efficiency, cutting emissions, environmental performance and sustainability of agricultural holdings and in total, will benefit from just over £170,000 of funding.

“In the run up to COP26, the whole world was thinking about what needs to be done in order to combat climate change and what we need to do going forward,” said Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon.

“It is clear that we all need to work together to reach our climate goals. That’s why investing and supporting knowledge transfer and innovation within our agricultural sector has never been more important.”

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Projects gaining funding included: £35,100 of funding was awarded to the Carbon Trotterprints project which will be facilitated by Wholesome Pigs (Scotland) , the co-operative venture which currently monitors pig health, giving a rapid feedback to provide benefits in terms of reduced use of antibiotics and medicines, eradication of diseases, reduced production costs and the ability to promote a healthy more ‘wholesome’ product in the market.

The project aims to build on the success on the use of benchmarking within the Scottish pig industry to improve carbon calculators and minimise the work involved on farm to complete carbon audits and thereby reduce any future financial support requirement. By comparing and standardising the results from three different carbon footprint calculators the effects of different business and management structures on emissions will also be studied.

Soil Health – A Route Towards Net Zero for the Scottish Livestock Industry which will be run by Farm Stock (Scotland) Ltd received £69,878 to help Scottish agricultural meet climate change targets by becoming more efficient – specifically, through better management of soil health.

An agroecology project aimed at facilitating mindset change, run by Nourish Scotland received £43,575 to bring together organisations to encourage knowledge transfer and exchange between farmers who have started to adopt agroecological approaches and practices and those who have yet to be convinced - specifically through a farmer to farmer/ crofter to crofter cooperative learning programme.

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Agroforestry in Action 2 which will be facilitated by Soil Association (Scotland) has received £18,862.50 to build on their 2021 ‘Agroforestry in Action’ (AIA) programme which aims to increase awareness of integrating trees into farming systems and the associated benefits for productive and sustainable farming, resource efficient land management, the environment, nature and a safe climate.

Forth Resource Management have gained £4374 for a project to create a series of three videos to highlight the agricultural industry’s role in the move towards a low carbon future. They also aim to share knowledge on food and energy production to the benefit of the environment to the wider agriculture industry.

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