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Committee agrees with new agri bill

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By Fiona Reid
Farming
Committee agrees with new agri bill

HOLYROOD’S Rural Affairs and Islands Committee has said it agrees with the general principles of the Agriculture and Rural Communities (Scotland) Bill.

The legislation represents the Scottish Government’s ‘vision for agriculture’ to transform farming and food production in Scotland and to make it a global leader in sustainable and regenerative agriculture. The Bill would give the Scottish Ministers the powers to provide support for agriculture and rural communities to replace the common agriculture policy following the UK’s exit from the EU.

Committee convener Finlay Carson, above, who is the Galloway and West Dumfries MSP, said: “The flexibility offered by a ‘framework’ bill is desirable so that Ministers can adapt to opportunities and challenges overtime, but it is vital that the powers set out in the Bill are developed in partnership with stakeholders and are subject to robust parliamentary scrutiny.

“We share the concerns we heard from stakeholders about the lack of direction, the time being taken to introduce future support schemes and the impact this is having on farmers, crofters, land managers and rural community organisations. But this legislation must be relevant for at least the next generation, so it’s important that the Scottish Government gets it right.

“We believe that the Rural Support Plan, and clarity over future funding, are crucial for providing certainty to farmers and crofters about how they will be supported going forward. The Plan will also provide a basis for the Parliament and stakeholders to hold the Scottish Government to account.

“We are confident that this approach will ensure that Scotland’s future agriculture policy is a success. Thank you to everyone who took time to engage with our scrutiny of this Bill.”

Farming

12th Apr

New committee

By Fiona Reid | DNG24