Crofting

 A Scottish Government advance payment scheme to help cash-flow for crofters and farmers affected by adverse weather conditions is welcomed by the Scottish Crofting Federation.

Over 1,000 hectares of public land is to be made available to new farmers this spring.

The move is part of the Scottish Government's Programme for Government commitment to identify and release more public and private land for new farmers as part of their action plan for Farming Opportunities for New Entrants.

Forestry Enterprise Scotland, Scottish Water, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, East Lothian and Highland Councils will all release land this spring for around 50 new farmers.

Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said:

A new service has launched today, Friday 9 February 2018, to provide farmers, foresters and crofters in Scotland with a collaborative way to explore their business ideas.

The Rural Innovation Support Service is part of the Scottish Rural Network and is being led by Soil Association Scotland.

The Farm Advisory Service (FAS) is offering funded support to help Scottish farmers manage and establish woodland, and access funding through the Forestry Grant Scheme.

This year's BBC Food and Farming Awards are now open for nominations.

Is there an outstanding food or drink producer in your area? Do you know an amazing cook? Is there an inspirational farmer you think deserves special recognition?

You can make your nominations for the annual BBC Food and Farming Awards in the following categories:

The 2018 application window for the Agri-Environment Climate Scheme (AECS) is now open.

The scheme supports environmentally-friendly land management practices that aim to safeguard and improve Scotland’s natural heritage and help businesses adapt to climate change.

The AECS 2018 application window opened today (17 January) and will run for 12 weeks until 13 April 2018. The deadline for applications for collaborative projects which involve five or more businesses is 31 May 2018.

The EIP-AGRI Service Point is looking for coordinating experts for a number of workshops, seminars and Focus Groups on a range of topics.

The agricultural European Innovation Partnership (EIP-AGRI) works to foster competitive and sustainable farming and forestry that 'achieves more and better from less'. 

Scotland Food & Drink are carrying out a short online survey to gather views to help grow the food tourism sector in Scotland.

Food tourism includes any tourism experience in which a person consumes and/or learns about food and drink that reflects the local cuisine, heritage or culture of a place. This includes the active pursuit of unique and memorable eating and drinking experiences as well as agri-tourism.

Over 800 projects in Scotland are to benefit from funding from the Agri-Environment Climate Scheme to encourage environmentally-friendly land management practices.

AECS 2017 has awarded £47.7 million to 801 projects over the next five years to protect and enhance Scotland’s natural heritage, improve water quality, manage flood risk, and help agricultural businesses adapt to climate change.

Announcing the award, Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said:

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