The Scottish Land & Estates Primary Industries Policy Group met this week to discuss the way forward on direct payments and rural development. The group re-affirmed its position on the main issues relating to direct payments, greening, coupled payments and national reserve eligibility, and discussed some more detailed issues being explored by Scottish Government relating to simplification and proposed derogations for small farmers.
On rural development, the group discussed broad priorities and re-affirmed the need to argue that rural development support must be broad-based and available to all rural businesses to support wider rural development. The group also debated the merits of various structures for delivering the next SRDP and will be providing input as the Scottish Government addresses these issues in coming months.
The group also discussed the Government's work on agriculture and climate change and the role that Scottish Land & Estates should play in furthering that agenda. A briefing paper on Scottish Land & Estates' position on rural development will be produced shortly.