Proposals for Common Agricultural Policy reform have missed key priorities for Scotland’s farmers, according to Lib Dem MEP George Lyon.
Mr Lyon said that agriculture commissioner Dacian Ciolos’s announcement on 12 October presented deep concerns for farmers north of the border.
“There will be deep concerns about the threat to CAP payments and how the changeover to area payments in 2014 will actually work.
“This will lead to great uncertainty in the industry as farmers try to work out what their future support payments will be,” Mr Lyon said.
“Commissioner Ciolos has moved to plug the hole in his earlier proposals with the introduction of a reference year of 2011 to qualify for the new area entitlements which should give some comfort to tenants.
“On the key test of whether this will incentivise and develop a more sustainable, more competitive, more carbon efficient agriculture the whole package falls dreadfully short,” he added.
“The greening of the direct payments are nothing more than ‘greenwash’ and they run the risk of making European farmers less competitive.
“It is simply nonsense to require 7% of land to be set aside at a time of food and energy scarcity.”
But Scotland’s MEP conceded there were some plus points in the proposed reform.
“From a Scottish perspective there are plus points as he has taken action to stamp out the slipper brigade, helped young farmers and targeted more support at producers in LFA areas who really need it,” Mr Lyon said.
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