NFUS Group to look at Welsh Entrant Model for SRDP

NFU Scotland’s New Generation group is heading to Wales to see if the Welsh New Entrant/Young Farmer model could be adopted as part of Scotland’s future rural development plans.

In a packed two-day programme, the Group will attend WelshSheep 2013 at Llandeilo tomorrow and meet with Welsh Minister Alun Davies the following day. The trip will also include farm visits to those who have benefited from the Welsh scheme and meetings on succession, taxation and mentoring.

In Scotland, the Scottish Government is currently consulting on how the rural development (Pillar Two) strand of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) could be delivered in Scotland from 2015 onwards.

Ahead of the visit, New Generation group chairman, Iain Mackay from Mull said: “The current consultation on Scotland’s future rural development programme offers the group an opportunity to ensure that the SRDP properly caters for the new generation of agricultural businesses in our sector. Given the success of the Welsh Assembly New Entrant/Young Farmer scheme within its equivalent of the SRDP, we will be meeting a number of stakeholder, including the Welsh Minister Alun Davies, to gain a better understanding of how their scheme operates.

“The trip will also help set the agenda for a series of regional meetings the New Generation group plans to hold in June. Those regional meetings will be an opportunity to tell a wider young farmer audience what the New Generation group priorities are and the importance of new and developing businesses engaging in the policy discussions that could impact on their plans.

“These are very important times for those just starting out in farming or who want to get involved. The Scottish Government announced a £2 million package of support for New Entrants at the Union’s AGM in February and details on how to access that funding are now available.

“The Union has also asked that those who are farming without the benefit of support through Single Farm Payment or the Less Favoured Areas Support Scheme also be considered as a priority group when the Cabinet Secretary decides how his £6 million weather aid package is to be spent.

“While ensuring new entrants are considered within any new rural development package for Scotland, we must also make sure that Pillar One arrangements that emerge from the ongoing CAP Reform discussions also ensure the new generation are accounted for from the outset.”