What we know is that future government funding will reward clean, green and profitable initiatives. In announcing the new Agricultural Transformation Programme, Rural Economies Minister, Fergus Ewing, stated: “Scotland’s land and the manner in which we use and manage it must adapt and change…”. He urged “farmers, crofters and land managers to make changes to their business so they drive forward the transition to a low carbon future, delivering a sustainable, productive, and profitable agricultural sector”. Mr Ewing mentioned “increasing tree planting levels (and) restoring peatland” as measures that would be part of the programme.
The Government’s new farming subsidy principle of “public payments for public goods” will include the production of natural capital – restoring native habitats and ecosystems that deliver clean air, clean water, enriched soils, and a new wealth of biodiversity.
As pointed out at a recent Farm Advisory Service conference, what government wants, we must do, if we want to continue to be recipients of their support.