Support for Equality and Innovation in Agriculture

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Fund of more than £200m to back innovative projects

Projects which aim to boost food security in Scotland and address the biodiversity and climate crises will benefit from a major Scottish Government funding programme.

At The Royal Highland Show in Edinburgh, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced major investment of more than £200 million through the 2022 to 2027 Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture Strategic Research Programme (SRP).

The Scottish Government is one of the largest funders of agri-environmental research in the UK, and will provide funding with a focus on strategic environment, natural resources and agriculture research.

The programme will invest in varied innovative projects, including:

  • Greenhouse Gas Reductions for agriculture and livestock
  • Crops for vertical farms, which will help to produce a wide range of economically valuable crops
  • Vaccine research into animal diseases, including Bovine Respiratory Disease

The fund backs long-term research programmes and science facilities which directly support Scotland’s academic research base and allows research institutes to leverage additional funding from other funders.

–  First Minister Nicola Sturgeon 

The Scottish Government provides significant funding to our major research institutes to explore issues such as planet and animal health, and food security. In total, we are investing more than £200 million in the next five years, which will support over 150 projects.

They cover issues which are of central concern to the agriculture sector such as the resilience of livestock to climate change; how to reduce climate change emissions from farming and livestock; and the way in which anti-microbial resistance and pathogens spread into the food chain, and then into humans.

Initiatives are also being made to deliver greater equality for women in agriculture and help young farmers become the boardroom leaders of the future will benefit from additional funding.

The future Women in Agriculture Business Skills Training project will receive £100,000 per year for the next three years, while funding to the Scottish Association of Young Farmers Clubs will see board members develop their leadership skills to create greater diversity in the boardrooms of the future.

Among the projects to be supported by an overall package of more than £400,000 is the Women in Agriculture Practical Training Fund, which has helped more than 750 trainees to attend practical training courses including tractor and trailer driving, sheepdog handling and chainsaw use since its launch last year.

–  Graeme

This support confirms the Scottish Government’s determination, in a tough financial climate, to ensure that Scotland continues to make important contributions to research and opportunity in agriculture and environment, contributing to the success and sustainability of our farming and food sectors.

Delivering greater equality for women in agriculture is critical to helping our agricultural businesses to be more resilient and able to diversify, meeting the needs of the changing markets.

We all have a pivotal role to play in implementing the changes needed to deliver a sustainable future for Scottish agriculture.

–  Rural Affairs Secretary, Mairi Gougeon

We are committed to building a fairer society and part of that includes enabling all women living or working in Scottish agriculture to have equality of opportunity.

We want to see more women joining those who are already developing a career in Scottish agriculture, which is why it’s important women are given these opportunities in what has been a very male-dominated area.

The future will bring challenges that will impact us all, but I am totally focused on how we can support our agricultural industry to be resilient and sustainable and the projects we are supporting ensure women will be a key part in a vital industry that is also helping to meet the twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss.