Scottish farmers are calling on Scottish Government to immediately address the cashflow crisis in Scottish agriculture by delivering part payment to all claimants.
In the past week, only seven per cent of claimants to the new Common Agricultural Policy support scheme have received part-payment.
That means since the payment run started in late December, the total percentage of Scottish claimants that have received part-payment is only 35 per cent. It is likely that significantly less than 35 per cent of the total pot of available funding has been distributed meaning that the cash crisis on farms is deepening.
NFU Scotland has repeatedly called for Scottish Government to recognise that its delivery system remains badly flawed and only immediate steps to deliver 90 per cent of payments to 90 per cent of recipients can avert a worsening crisis for the whole Scottish rural economy.
At an event hosted by Forth and Clyde Regional Chairman Tom French, at Balgray Farm, Crawfordjohn in South Lanarkshire, the union brought together farmers and representatives of key supply trades – agricultural machinery, feed and fertiliser – to quantify the impact that the late delivery of basic payments is having on other parts of the industry. The meeting was attended by Clydesdale MSP Aileen Campbell and MSP for the South of Scotland Claudia Beamish.
Host farmer Tom French commented: “I welcome our local MSPs meeting with us to hear about the severity of the current crisis and the impact that it is having – not just at farm level – but for the whole rural economy. Quite frankly, the wheels have stopped turning. We knew 2016 would be a difficult year but we now have the perfect storm of low commodity prices, poor weather and severe delay in getting support payments out.”