Weather Aid payments to Scottish farmers have now started, Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead has confirmed.
The first famers who have submitted successful applications to the Scottish Government’s £5.75 million compensation scheme will receive funds in their bank accounts early next week.
So far, £728,406 has been processed for payment to 203 farmers with a further 849 applications still being processed.
Mr Lochhead said:
“Many farmers across Scotland suffered financial losses as a result of this year’s severe weather, which is why the Scottish Government is providing a significant amount of compensation through our Weather Aid scheme.
“I am pleased to confirm that Weather Aid payments have now started, with almost £750,000 due to reach the first successful applicants next week and another £5 million to follow. This is on top of the almost £750,000 we have already paid to farmers for livestock losses.
“It is important that payments made under the Weather Aid Scheme comply with block exemption and EU state aid de minimis rules. This is very complex, and in line with the wishes of the Weather Aid Expert Group that farmers should not be subject to additional inspections, Scottish Government officials have been carefully verifying the evidence provided by farmers to support their claims.
“In some cases, information cannot be easily verified and these claims will take longer to process. All payments will be completed as soon as possible.
“Unlike in England and Wales, this £6.5 million Scottish Government funding is in addition to Single Farm Payments and is yet another example of a big gain for Scottish farming as a result of decisions taken here in Scotland.
“It provides a stark contrast to the damaging decisions taken at Westminster that cost our farmers dear - such as the CAP deal agreed by the UK Government which will leave Scottish farmers hundreds of millions of euros worse off than farmers in other countries.”