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Agriculture (Retained EU Law and Data) (Scotland) Act 2020

Pillar 2

Rural Development

56.Pillar 2 of the CAP is the financial support provided through the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (“the EAFRD”) to promote sustainable rural development throughout the EU.

57.The EAFRD operates through programmes prepared by Member States and approved by the Commission (which co-funds them). Member States submit either a single rural development programme, or a set of regional rural development programmes, for each seven-year programming period.

58.The majority of Pillar 2 expenditure is on environmental schemes which bring public benefit and that the market would not always consider, for example environmental land management through agri-environment and forestry schemes.

59.As with direct payments, the Rural Development Regulation may be regionalised, and has been in the UK in line with devolution. The UK therefore submits four rural development programmes under Article 11 of the Rural Development Regulation,(16) one for each country in the UK. The current Scottish programme is the “Scottish Rural Development Programme” (SRDP) 2014 – 2020.(17)

60.The SRDP sets out the measures, in line with Articles in the Rural Development Regulation, under which financial support is provided. The support is generally made available in the form of a non-refundable grant, although Member States have the option to use financial instruments and loans.

61.Funding is generally grouped together in “schemes”, and the current SRDP includes the following:

  • Less Favoured Area Support Scheme (LFASS), providing support to farming businesses in remote and constrained rural areas,

  • Forestry Grant Scheme, providing a range of grants for woodland creation, agro-forestry, tree health, woodland improvement, processing and marketing and sustainable management of forests,

  • Agri-Environment Climate Scheme (including support for organics and footpaths), which provides targeted support for land managers to undertake management and capital work for environmental purposes,

  • Beef Efficiency Scheme, to deliver economic and environmental improvements in the beef sector,

  • New Entrants, which provides start-up grants for new entrant young farmers of up to 40 years old, and capital funding for new entrants regardless of age to improve their business,

  • Crofting Agricultural Grant Scheme, which provides grants to improve crofts in order to help to sustain crofting business,

  • Small Farms Grant Scheme, which provides targeted support for small farms that face similar issues to crofters regarding sustainability,

  • Food Processing, Marketing and Co-operation, which supports small and medium sized enterprises in the food and drink sector with start-up grants for new enterprises, and business development grants,

  • LEADER,(18) which provides opportunities for individuals, businesses and communities to come together and support rural development and provide long lasting benefits to the local area (and includes support for non-agricultural small businesses including farm diversification),

  • Knowledge Transfer and Innovation Fund (KTIF), which supports the sharing of innovative ways of improving working practices along with continuing support for Monitor Farms,

  • Farm Advisory Service, which provides advice and assistance to farmers, crofters and other land managers,

  • Broadband, which provides support for broadband provision in rural areas, and

  • Scottish Rural Network, which supports and promotes rural development through the sharing of ideas and best practice.

62.Financial support provided through each programme is intended to contribute to meeting the EU’s priorities for Rural Development, which include objectives such as restoring, preserving and enhancing ecosystems related to agriculture and forestry.

63.The money for the support comes from both Europe through the EAFRD, and the Member States. Financial support must comply with the rules on state aid, except where a particular exemption operates for agricultural activities provided through the programme.


The acronym is French in origin i.e. liaison entre actions de development rural. This translates as ‘links between actions of rural development’, as set out in this basic guide from the European Commission:

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Explanatory Notes

Text created by the Scottish Government to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes were introduced in 1999 and accompany all Acts of the Scottish Parliament except those which result from Budget Bills.


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