MP Helps Secure Farm Funding Boost

A funding boost for Scottish agriculture will bring extra support to rural Dumfries and Galloway.

Scottish Secretary and local MP Alister Jack, who held discussions with farmers at the recent Stranraer Show, believes part of the £160 million package could benefit struggling farms in upland areas.

Chancellor Sajid Javid confirmed the convergence money would be allocated to the agricultural industry north of the border while giving the UK Government spending review on Wednesday.

Alister Jack SOSMr Jack pressed for the EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) funding to be delivered to Scotland after taking up the issue for constituents shortly after being elected with then UK Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Secretary Michael Gove.

The funding, originally drawn from the EU Multi-annual Financial Framework programme, was aimed at redistributing Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) payments more equitably across member countries.

And the UK qualified for the uplift because Scotland's per hectare rate is only 45 per cent of the EU average.  England, Wales and Northern Ireland are all above the 90 per cent qualifying threshold.

Mr Jack confirmed that the distribution of the funding would be handed over to the Scottish Government who have devolved responsibility over many areas of agriculture.

He said: "I'm pleased to have played a part in ensuring this funding comes to Scotland. It has been a bone of contention in parts of the industry for some time.

"I anticipate amongst the sectors that will benefit will be the upland sheep farms where support is essential on the less productive hill land. 

"My hope is some of this will eventually filter through helping support jobs in the wider rural supply chain."