Scotland's newly launched Farm Advisory Service is part of the Scottish Rural Development Programme (SRDP) which is co-funded by the EU and Scottish Government.
Delivering the £20m contract will be SAC Consulting, part of Scotland's Rural College and Ricardo Energy and Environment. FAS will run until the end of December 2020.
A new FAS website is live (www.fas.scot) and is supported by a dedicated telephone advice line for farmers and crofters (0300 323 0161). The service will expand over the coming weeks and months into a comprehensive delivery package of practical information and advice to farmers and crofters across Scotland.
The website will be a source of data and information, tools and apps, all designed to be relevant to modern farming and crofting enterprises. At its centre is a calendar of events that will detail all of the workshops, network farm meetings, conferences and training courses that will be planned and delivered as part of the FAS.
The website also hosts the entry point for grant applications for Integrated Land Management Plans (ILMP); Specialist Advice; Mentoring for New Entrants; and Carbon Audits. Application forms can now be downloaded from the website which provide access to up to £2,200 grant assistance for ILMP and £500 for carbon audits.
The advice line operates Monday to Friday, between 9am and 5pm. It covers a wide variety of topics including cross compliance, water framework directive requirements, climate change and many other technical issues.
Another feature of the new FAS is the Crofter and Small Farm Advisory Service. This will provide discounted subscription and consultancy services for crofters and farming businesses (under 30 Ha) across Scotland.
This service is delivered through: