Rural Funding Scheme Extended
The Agri-Environment Climate Scheme (AECS) will reopen for funding in 2022 to support the ambition of doubling the amount of land under organic management, set out in the Programme for Government 2021-22.
Farmers, crofters and land managers will be able to apply for support for conversion to and maintenance of organic land, alongside a suite of other measures aimed at promoting low carbon farming and protecting the environment.
Scottish Ministers have also agreed to deliver future rounds of the fund up to and including 2024, to provide ongoing certainty in line with a wider campaign to prioritise local and organic produce in public sector menus as part of Scotland’s green recovery.
The extension of the Agri-Environment Climate Scheme is a very welcome investment in the future of our rural economy, while we explore other ways farmers can be supported in delivering a nature-rich Scotland.
It’s great news that producers and land managers in Angus and across the country will be able to apply for this funding to help combat the crises of climate change and nature loss.
A great variety of projects can be eligible – from improving public access, to habitat protection and going organic – and I would encourage Angus farmers to take up opportunities to address flood risks, to improve the state of vulnerable wildlife, water quality, soil health and more.
This is a Scottish Government determined to see rural Scotland thrive in a low-carbon future, leading the way on agriculture’s contribution to sustainability and nature restoration while supporting quality local produce.
The Agri-Environment Climate Scheme will reopen for funding in 2022 to support the ambition of doubling the amount of land under organic management.
— ScotGov Rural (@ScotGovRural) October 27, 2021
Rural Affairs Secretary, Mairi Gougeon:
Our vision for the future of rural Scotland is a positive one. We want Scotland to be a global leader in sustainable and regenerative agriculture. As part of that, we are committed to supporting farmers, crofters, and land managers to support and deliver nature restoration.
AECS provides important funding to the sector to help achieve this commitment and I have visited many farms, including the organic Peelham Farm recently, which have benefited from AECS and are playing their part in helping to restore and enhance nature. This will help to deliver increased biodiversity, improved soils and contribute to mitigating climate change at the same time as providing high quality, locally produced food.
We have already invested £213 million in the scheme and we are committed to not only delivering a full round in 2022, but to extending the scheme right up to the end of the period of stability.
Note: the funding of new rounds of the Agri-Environment Climate Scheme (AECS) until 2024 is still subject to future budgetary decisions.