Introduction to the CAP

The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is a European programme of funding and support that Scottish farmers and crofters, as well as rural businesses and communities, can access through the Scottish Government.

Funding supports environmental, economic and community development across Scotland in a number of areas.

This includes food and drink production, local community and tourism projects, forestry and rural business developments.

Europe allocates funding to each member state in two ways:

  • The European Agricultural Guarantee Fund (EAGF) – Pillar One or Direct Payments
  • The European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) – Pillar Two or Scottish Rural Development Programme

Download a quick guide to the Common Agricultural Policy in Scotland

In 2015, a new and reformed Scottish Common Agricultural Policy was launched.

You can find out more here

Direct Payments

These are payments that farmers, crofters and land owners may be entitled to, based on the size and type of their farm and the livestock the keep.

They help farmers manage their land in an environmentally-friendly and sustainable way and maintain animal welfare standards.

More than £3.3 billion will be injected into Scotland's agricultural sector during the new Common Agricultural Policy period 2014-2020 through Direct Payments.

The payments provide income support to many farming and rural businesses, who in turn support the economy in Scotland and provide stability to the food production chain.

To access Direct Payments, farmers, crofters and land owners need to submit the Single Application Form on a yearly basis.

You can find out more about Direct Payments here

Scottish Rural Development Programme

This will develop rural Scotland through a range of grants and support for rural communities, rural businesses, farmers, crofters and other land managers.

There are separate application processes for the various grants, most of which are competitive. Support will also be available through the Scottish Rural Network, which will help people share ideas and good practice, as well as potentially develop innovative ideas for product development. An advisory service for land managers is due to be launched in 2016.

There will be a budget of over £1.35 billion to support the priorities of the SRDP.

You can find out more about the Scottish Rural Development Programme here