Fergus Ewing provided Parliament with an update on the latest payments situation on Tuesday this week.
He said: “As at last Friday, over £350 million has been injected into Scotland’s rural economy through the various payment schemes. Of that total, £326 million has been made in 2015 basic, greening and young farmer payments. Over 17,500 farmers—almost 96 per cent of those who are eligible—have received their full payment.
Under the less favoured area support scheme, loans of approximately £54 million out of an estimated total of £66 million were made in March. Technical issues are holding back the final LFASS payments but, as loans have already been provided to over 11,000 eligible applicants—mostly at the rate of 90 per cent—the vast majority of potential payment recipients are largely unaffected.
Rural priorities payments of £10 million have already been made with further payments expected later this month, and land manager option payments of £4 million are due to start from October. It should be noted that those payments are normally made after the payments under the other schemes.
The vast majority of sheep support payments were made in July as we said they would be, with more than 900 farmers receiving £4.3 million. We have also nearly completed payments under the mainland and island beef schemes, with £30 million paid out to more than 7,000 farmers.”