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Chamber and committees

Question reference: S6W-04065

  • Asked by: Jim Fairlie, MSP for Perthshire South and Kinross-shire, Scottish National Party
  • Date lodged: 27 October 2021
  • Current status: Initiated by the Scottish Government. Answered by Mairi Gougeon on 28 October 2021


To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide an update on its actions to support farmers and crofters to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and farm more sustainably.


We recently launched the Agriculture Reform Implementation Oversight Board to help develop new proposals for sustainable farming support by considering the Climate Change Plan Update and the Farmer-led Groups recommendations. This was one of our 100 days commitments and will help Scottish agriculture become more economically and environmentally sustainable.

Today the Scottish Government is announcing “The National Test Programme”, a £51m package to assist farmers, crofters and land managers to transition to a system of sustainable agriculture that will reduce GHG emissions and enhance biodiversity in our agricultural landscape.

The package is a twin track approach made up of two components:

Track 1 is to encourage farmers to improve their knowledge of current environmental performance and efficiency, and will allow all those in receipt of a basic Agricultural Support payment to make a start in addressing GHG emissions reduction for their businesses. This will include the following;

  • Substantial public support for Carbon audits and Nutrient Management Plans .
  • The establishment of a Livestock Data Performance Feedback Scheme.

Track 2 is to design and test the tools and process necessary to reward land managers for the climate and biodiversity outcomes they deliver. It will create a robust understanding of how new conditions or activities could be applied to future support, and to ensure delivery of environmental outcomes in a way that supports sustainable businesses. This will be a more detailed design and test how measuring environmental performance of farms will be managed in future and include;

  • The creation of a Conditionality Test Programme.
  • The instigation of an Active Livestock Management initiative for suckler beef farms.