Sustainable Agriculture Capital Grant Scheme (SACGS)
Date published: 6 June, 2022
Please note: The 2022 Sustainable Agriculture Capital Grant Scheme (SACGS) application window is now closed. Claims must be submitted by midnight 31 March 2023.
The Sustainable Agriculture Capital Grant Scheme (SACGS) provides support to businesses so that they can invest in equipment to reduce harmful ammonia emissions and reduce adverse impacts on water quality resulting from the storage and spreading of livestock slurry and digestate.
The main objectives/expected outcomes of the scheme is to support Scottish Agriculture contribute to Scotland’s statutory emissions reductions targets through:
- protecting and improving the natural environment,
- reducing ammonia emissions from farming operations,
- supporting sustainable farming,
- supporting sustainable land use
Make your SACGS claimStart your claim
Submit and manage SACGS applicationManage SACGS Application
- Full scheme guidance
- About SACGS 2022
- What items can I apply for?
- Application process
- Claiming your grant
- Geotagged photographs
- Request a review
- Contact information
Before you apply for this scheme please read the full scheme guidance. If you have any questions or concerns, ask us before you submit an application or claim.
If you do not follow the scheme rules, you risk losing all or part of any payment you may be entitled to.
If you need any help or assistance to use this guidance, you can book an appointment at your local area office.
Who can apply?
Scottish farmers, crofters and agricultural contractors (based in Scotland), can apply for this grant if they:
- store and/or spread slurry or digestate,
- are registered for funding with SGRPID,
- have a Rural Payments and Services username and password and
- have or agree to obtain a carbon audit or a nutrient management plan (these will be required to be provided at the point of claiming grant to receive payment).
How much money can you apply for?
The maximum amount of aid a single farm business can receive is £20,000. This means one application per Business Reference Number (BRN).
Grant awards will be based on 40% of the standard cost listed in the full scheme guidance. Businesses located in the Highlands and Islands (HIE area) will receive a higher grant rate of 50% (in acknowledgement of the higher cost involved with transporting goods to these areas).
The items selected for inclusion in the Sustainable Agriculture Capital Grant Scheme have been chosen for their effectiveness in reducing harmful ammonia emissions and reduce adverse impacts on water quality resulting from the storage and spreading of livestock slurry and digestate.
Only brand-new items can be funded through SACGS. Ex-demonstration, second hand, part exchange and ‘try before you buy’ Items are not eligible. If you claim for these items your whole claim will be rejected.
A complete list of eligible items can be found in the full scheme guidance.
How and When to Apply
Applications are made online via the ‘Manage Applications and Claims Service Portal’ which can be accessed from the SACGS page on Rural Payments and Services.
The scheme opens for applications on 26 April 2022 and closes to applications midnight 01 June 2022.
To submit an application you will need to:
- be registered for funding with the Scottish Government Rural Payments and Inspections Division (SGRPID) and
- have an active Rural Payments and Services account.
Agents and Business Representatives mandated to maintain and submit Single Application Forms on behalf of a farmer or crofter, can submit an application on behalf of their clients.
Making your application
Your online application should take no more than 20 minutes to complete.
Please complete all relevant questions and do not move away from the webpage or close the internet browser until you have submitted your application. You will not be able to save your application and return to it later.
If you enter information which is incorrect or in the wrong format, a prompt will appear telling you how to correct this. You will not be able to continue until you have added the information needed.
You will not automatically get a grant. SACGS is expected to be highly competitive, and you are competing against all applications received and scored against the same criteria.
With a limited budget there is potential for the scheme to be oversubscribed in terms of support requested versus scheme budget. To allow SGRPID to manage the scheme budget applications will be awarded a “Green Point” score. The total score each application achieves will help us prioritise funding if the scheme is over-subscribed.
When will you hear about your application?
We will make a decision as soon as possible after the closing date of the application window. We can’t provide updates on individual applications until they have all been assessed and scored.
You must not order or buy any of the items in your application before you have accepted your offer of grant award. This will make your application and claim ineligible.
If your application is successful, we will send you an email to confirm an offer of grant has been made. You will need to log into the Manage Applications and Claims Service Portal to view the offer of grant and conditions of the grant offer. If you are content with the offer you must confirm you accept the offer within 14 calendar days of the date of the letter. Failure to accept your offer will result in the withdrawal of the grant offer.
Once you have confirmed your grant offer acceptance you will be able to order and purchase all the items listed in your offer of grant letter.
NOTE: It is only after you have confirmed acceptance of the offer of grant can you order or buy your items. Buying any items, before you accept your offer of grant will invalidate your application, and your claim will be rejected.
Grant terms and conditions
The offer of a grant is subject to the terms and conditions set out in the offer of grant letter.
Failure to meet the requirements of any relevant legislation or the terms and conditions of the grant offer could result in the grant being terminated, and/or the recovery of grant already paid.
If your application is rejected due to an eligibility reason, SGRPID will send you an email to confirm the reason why.
If you are not satisfied with our decision, you may wish to ask us for a review. You cannot ask for a review if your application is unsuccessful because the scheme is oversubscribed and did not meet the minimum green score threshold.
Please refer to the full scheme guidance for further details on the application process.
We must receive your claim by midnight on 31 March 2023 or your grant award will be withdrawn.
You must have purchased, taken delivery of (and installed if required) all of the items in your offer of grant letter before submitting your claim. If you do not claim all the items in your offer of grant letter your claim will be invalid and will be rejected.
How to claim
You will use the Manage Applications and Claims Service to claim your grant. You will be required to enter the amount being claimed for each item you were offered a grant on and upload the supporting eligibility evidence.
The grant can only be claimed after you have bought, paid for, installed and made operational (if required) all the items in your offer of grant award letter.
All items need to have been purchased after the date you accepted the offer of grant. If you have difficulty obtaining your items please see 'Unable to get your Item' below.
Who can submit a SACGS claim
Farmers, crofters and Agricultural contractors registered as the Responsible person on RPS can submit a claim or Single Application Form (SAF) mandated users will be able to claim on behalf of their clients.
To start your claim you will need your RPS User name and Password. If you are an agent who is mandated to claim on behalf of a business, you will be able to select the business you want to submit a claim for after you have entered your details.
You will be required to provide the following information:
- Details from your Carbon Audit and/or Nutrient Management including copies of your Soil Analysis results
- Geotagged Photographs of items being claimed (that clearly show serial numbers) in situ and operational,
- Suppliers invoices that detail the items purchased, the date purchased and the amount paid
- Bank/credit card statements (referencing payment of item(s)) – please note all items must be purchased by the business being awarded the grant.
RPID are using geotagging information within digital photos as a way of verifying items claimed for the Sustainable Agriculture Capital Grant Scheme (SACGS).
The use of geotagged photographs reduces the need for RPID to carry out on farm inspections before payment can be made.
A Geotagged photograph includes location information within a digital photograph’s stored data. Most mobile phones that can connect to the internet and that have a camera will record GPS (Global Positioning System) coordinates automatically. They can also record the date and time the photograph was taken.
It is important that you read the guidance on how to take a geotagged photograph carefully before you start taking photographs as you may need to change your device settings to make sure your location data is captured correctly.
Find out more about geotagged photographs and how to take them in Annex D in the full guidance.
Unable to get your item
You must claim for all of the items in your offer of grant letter, if you are having difficulties obtaining an item(s), please let us know as soon as possible by emailing SACGS@gov.scot.
Payment of your grant
Grant funding is paid directly into the GBP bank account registered with SGRPID.
It is your responsibility to make sure a valid and active bank account for your business has been registered with us before submitting your claim evidence. Failure to do so will result in your claim payment being delayed.
We aim to pay correctly completed claims within 30 working days of receipt. If there are any issues, it may take longer. You may need to account for this if it will affect the cash flow of your project or business.
Your claim for grant funding may be selected for inspection before the grant payment is made, or up to five years after this date.
All the details in your application/ claim and items claimed will be checked at inspection.
Reductions and penalties
If you breach the terms of your grant award, the terms and conditions, or you do not meet the relevant eligibility criteria for this scheme, grant payments will be withheld, and any grant previously paid will be recovered.
After you have received your grant
Items purchased with grant funding must be retained in agricultural use, operational and in good repair. They must be used for the same purpose as set out in the original application, for five years (or for their useful life if this is less than five years and correct maintenance has been carried out) from the date of the grant payment. We will recover some or all of the grant if you breach the grant agreement during that period.
Further information on how to claim your grant is available in the full scheme guidance.
RPID are extending the trialling of technology which will reduce the burden of inspections on staff and customers. One of the technologies which they are keen to utilise is the use of Geotagging within digital photos as a way of verifying capital items claimed for the Sustainable Agriculture Capital Grant Scheme (SACGS).
The benefits of geotagged photographs
The use of geotagged photographs will reduce the need for RPID to carry out on farm inspections before payment can be made. The use of geotagged photographs will reduce the need to carry out on farm inspections before payment can be made. The new process requires claimants to upload geotagged photographs of the capital items they are claiming.
What is a geotagged photograph?
A geotagged photograph includes location information within a digital photograph’s stored data. This can take the form of a map and or Global Positioning System (GPS) co-ordinates.
Most mobile phones that can connect to the internet and that have a camera will record GPS coordinates automatically. They can also record the date and time the photograph was taken.
Why do I need to take geotagged photographs?
RPID staff will check the time and location data of your uploaded geotagged photographs and cross check these with your capital claim. This will allow us to verify your claim, making sure the capital works have been completed, in the contracted location, or items have been purchased as agreed and within the contract period.
How do I geotag my photographs?
Almost all mobile phones with internet access and a camera will Geotag your photographs. However, in order for the geotagging to work you should be outside when you take the photograph of the item wherever possible.
The section ‘How to check photograph properties’ will explain how to check your photo is geotagged. Geotagging means that the mobile phone will store information about where the photograph was taken within the photograph file.
To make sure that your mobile phone is set up to allow GPS location data to be stored on the photo file, please follow the steps below. The steps and terms used may vary slightly depending on the model of your phone.
Android Phones and Tablets
Most mobile phones use the Android operating system. Examples of mobile phones using Android include Sony, Samsung, LG, HTC, Google Pixel, and Motorola.
Firstly, make sure that your phone is set up to use GPS to record your location by following the steps below (the same steps can be used if you have an android tablet):
- On your home screen, go to Settings (a cog icon). You may need to tap on the Applications or Menu icon first.
- Go to Location. This may be listed in its own right or it may be under General Settings or Privacy and Safety.
- Make sure the location option is turned on. If prompted, choose High accuracy or GPS.
Secondly, make sure that your camera is set up to geotag your photographs.
- Tap your camera application.
- Tap on the Settings icon.
- Make sure that the Geotagging / Location tag / GPS option is turned on.
Apple iPhones and iPads
- Tap the Settings app (a cog icon) from your iPhone or iPad Home screen.
- Tap on Privacy
- Tap on Location Services and make sure this option is turned on.
- While in Location Services Scroll down and Tap on the Camera icon. Choose “While Using the App”.
If you use an iPhone 7 or below you will also need to select the following settings:
- Tap on the Settings app (cog icon)
- Tap on Camera
- Ensure that the Keep Normal Photo is toggled “On”.
If you use an iPhone SE or 8 or above you will also need to select the following settings:
- Tap the Settings app
- Tap on Camera
- Tap on Formats
- Choose “Most Compatible”, this needs to be done to ensure that the photograph is in JPEG, rather than HEIC format. (HEIC format is not accepted on SACGS Claim Portal)
- On your home screen, tap on the Settings option or icon (a cog icon) Tap Privacy
- Tap on Location Service and make sure this option is turned on.
- Scroll down the list of applications under ‘Choose apps that can use your precise location’ and make sure Camera is turned on.
Other devices that may be capable of taking a geotagged photo are listed below:
- Digital camera
- Video camera
- Action/helmet cameras e.g. GoPro
- Blackberry mobile devices
- Huawei mobile devices and tablets
- Amazon Tablets
You should check your device specifications to ensure they have inbuilt GPS before you head out to the field to take photos of your capital items.
What geotagged photographs are needed?
You should take photographs of all the items you are claiming through the SACGS Scheme.
All photographs must be geotagged. These photographs should clearly show the item claimed for. You may need to take more than one to demonstrate completion or the full aspects of the item(s).
It does not matter whether the photographs are portrait or landscape so long as the relevant information is included. It is your responsibility to provide suitable evidence that the investment has taken place. Failure to provide suitable evidence may delay or stop payments.
For SACGS photographs should include the manufacturers make and model and if applicable the serial number.
Best practice for accurate recording and retaining geotagging data on your photos
Check that location permission is switched on in your camera app.
Wait for a minute or so at the spot where you are recording the information before taking the photo, this allows your camera or device to obtain accurate location information.
Don’t edit the photo before you send it. Changing the photo (by cropping or changing the lighting for example) can erase the original data associated with the photo.
Don’t use social media (E.g. WhatsApp, Facebook) to send the photograph from one device to another, or to send to RPID. This will remove the geotagging information from the image.
How do I transfer and save my geotagged photographs?
On your computer or laptop in “My Documents” create a folder named “Capital Photographs”.
Physically connect your phone to your PC or Laptop using the phone charging cable. (see explanation below as to why the cable is important)
You’ll have to ensure your phone is unlocked to allow your PC or laptop to communicate.
Save the photos of the required items into the folder you created. The photographs should be saved as .jpeg files. This is extremely important when asked to email pictures to RPID.
Once you have the photographs saved into a folder you can check to see that the Geo-tagged properties are still present.
- Hover over the photo and right click your mouse
- Select the properties option from the list that appears
- Click on the details tab
- In the origin section the time and date the photo was taken will appear
- Scroll down to the GPS section and the Latitude and Longitude details are displayed
You need to name your photographs carefully, so that you will be able to identify these easily and match them to the appropriate works or items when you submit your photographs as part of your Capital Inspection. To do this:
- Hover over the photo and right click
- Select ‘Rename’
- Type the name.
- Choose a name that is relevant to the item and the scheme it was purchased under and hit the return/enter key.
- Adding your Main Location Code could help avoid any confusion.
We have asked you to physically attach your camera to your PC or Laptop as we’ve found this the best way to transfer the photo from one device to the other while retaining the Geo-tagged information.
Although it may seem more straightforward, e-mailing the photos direct from a phone has not proven to be a successful way to send the information, as many phones automatically remove the GPS information as a security measure.
How to check photograph properties
Once your photograph is uploaded and saved, you can check the resolution and make sure location details are recorded.
Hold down the ‘Alt’ key and press ‘Enter’ or right click on the photograph and select properties or file information, and then go to the Details tab.
Hold down the ‘Command’ key and press the letter ‘I’.
Both options will open the file details for that photograph. This includes the resolution of the photographs as well as the GPS coordinates and details of when the photograph was taken. The GPS coordinates can be entered into an internet search engine and will show where the photograph was taken on a map.
What will RPID do with my geotagged photographs?
After you submit your geotagged photographs, RPID staff will check that the capital item or option has been purchased and fitted/installed, is in the correct location, and as specified in the contract. We will retain a copy of the photograph for audit purposes as they form part of the Audit trail we need to keep.
Uploading geotagged photographs to the SACGS claim portal
During your SACGS Claim submission you will need to upload evidence of the Item(s) claimed. This takes the form of geotagged photographs, to do this you should refer to the guidance on geotagging above which cover the taking and saving of the pictures, and this section which covers the upload of the photographs to the SACGS Claim portal.
SACGS Claims - Upload geotagged photo’s need to be uploaded with the claim.
Geotagged photos verify that the item(s) claimed for is /are on farm and of the required standard.
They should be jpegs but the following other formats are acceptable when uploading via the portal; jfif, .jpg, .jpeg, .png, .gif with the GPS co-ordinates or digital map and co-ordinates of the picture and the date and time of the picture included in the background data.
In the Upload documentation section the first task is upload your invoice, the second task is upload your proof of purchase, and the third task is Attach/upload the geotagged photo(s).
Click on choose files to find the picture you want to upload.
If you are not satisfied with a decision we have made with your application or claim, you may wish to ask us for a review.
When reviewing a case, we can only consider the information that was originally submitted and will not consider new additional documentation.
For enquires regarding SACGS please email SACGS@gov.scot.