Joan McAlpine has urged Dumfries and Galloway farmers to take make use of a £20m hardship fund announced last week for Scottish agricultural businesses hit by cash flow problems caused by the new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) payments.
Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead announced the scheme at the National Farmers Union of Scotland (NFUS) annual conference. He said progress on making payments has been made but recognised that many agricultural businesses were facing cash flow issues as a result of the biggest ever CAP reform.
Ms McAlpine urged any farmers facing delays in receiving CAP payments to take advantage of the fund, she said:
“Over this winter farmers in Dumfries and Galloway have faced a double whammy of extreme weather and flooding, compounded by delays in payments caused by the introduction of this incredibly complex new payment structure, caused by CAP reforms.
“This new fund announced today will mean farmers can access loans while waiting for their CAP payments to be processed, and I’m looking forward to seeing this important funding reaching our local businesses as swiftly as possible to help alleviate the challenges our local farmers have faced over the past few months.”