Scottish farmers have been promised that payments worth £254m will arrive in their bank accounts this week in the form of loans against their Basic Payment Scheme claims.
Rural economy secretary Fergus Ewing announced in September that farmers would be able to secure up to 90% of their anticipated BPS support through a nationally funded loan scheme.
The scheme forms part of a wider “CAP stabilisation plan” in Scotland, which aims to tackle persistent problems of payment delays and poor customer service.
Mr Ewing said one tranche of payments had already been made and a second would go out later in the week.
“These payments mean over 10,600 farmers and crofters will now have received up to 90% of their entitlement earlier than ever before.”
Although the deadline has now passed for applicants to be in the first tranche of payments, farmers can still apply for a loan, he added.
All eligible businesses that have not yet been offered a loan should receive an offer by the end of October. These businesses can then expect payment before the end of November.
Farmers and crofters are expected to receive the balance of their BPS entitlement between March and June 2018.
Northern Ireland advances
The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (Daera) in Northern Ireland has announced that advance CAP payments started to arrive in claimants’ accounts on 19 October.
The payments will be 70% of the BPS claim value on all fully verified claims.
Further payments will be made on a daily basis throughout October.
Balance payments, or full payments for those unable to receive an advance payment, will be made from 1 December 2017.
Northern Ireland remains the only region of the United Kingdom to make use of EU rules which allow advance payments.