Farmers & Crofters Urged To Look Out For Loan Scheme Letters

Scottish farmers and crofters have started to receive loan scheme offer letters from Scottish Government and NFU Scotland is urging recipients to ‘opt in’.

For the first time, recipients will have the opportunity to opt in online, potentially speeding up the process and ensuring loans arrive in September.  Acceptance of the loan offer by email and post also remain available.

The 2021 National Basic Payment Support Scheme (NPBS) offers recipients the opportunity to receive up to 95 percent of their Basic Payment Scheme and Greening payments in advance.  Around 17,000 businesses are expected to receive a loan offer which will deliver around £337 million into the Scottish rural economy this autumn.

Scottish Government has prepared a ‘question and answer’ briefing on the 2021 loan scheme, available at: https://www.ruralpayments.org/media/resources/NBPSS-2021-Q-and-A—180821.pdf It has also produced guidance on how to accept the loan scheme offer online at: https://www.ruralpayments.org/media/resources/Accepting-your-loan-offer—NBPSS-2021.pdf

NFU Scotland President Martin Kennedy said: “The announcement that Scotland’s farmers and crofters can access up 95 percent of their BPS and Greening payments from September this year will add certainty and stability across Scottish agriculture and the wider rural community at a time when businesses are adapting to the post-Brexit era and recovering from the impacts of the pandemic.
“Previous loan schemes have provided an invaluable boost to the rural economy each autumn, stimulating investment in farms and crofts across the country. This year, as we recover from Covid-19, the scheme will also provide much-needed cash flow ahead of our first winter since leaving Europe and the CAP.
“This is the tenth loan scheme of this kind to be delivered by Scottish Government and processes have continued to improve with each scheme.  The ability to opt in online adds a new, speedier option for farmers and crofters to accept their offer while the traditional email and postal options remain available. I would urge all to opt into this year’s scheme and to do so online where possible to ensure payments are processed and made as soon as possible.
“Many farmers and crofters will be looking seriously at cash flows this autumn, particularly in areas where dry weather this summer has meant a significant amount of planning around availability of feed, fodder and bedding and this loan scheme will be a huge help. 
“For many, the Less Favoured Areas Support Scheme is also critical to the viability of their business, and we will be asking Scottish Government to once again deliver an LFASS loan scheme this coming winter, as they have done in recent years.”

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