Range of funding to deliver sustainable communities and protect the environment.
Scotland’s budget underlines the Scottish Government’s commitment to rural and island communities and businesses.
The 2022-23 budget will see more than £650 million in ongoing support across the rural economy in agriculture, fishing, and seafood.
It forms part of an overall budget which strengthens the resilience of rural, coastal and island communities, businesses and industries to recover from the pandemic and EU Exit.
The funding also supports the critical transformation of agricultural and marine economies to meet the 2045 emissions reductions targets, and reinforces action to reverse biodiversity loss, restore nature and protect our future.
The move to transform how farming and food production is supported to make Scotland a global leader in sustainable and regenerative agriculture will see £25 million of investment.
Food Industry support of £10.5 million provides vital assistance to Scotland’s food and drink sector, underpinning its recovery from Covid-19 and EU exit.
A new round of agri-environment investment will be delivered as part of an overall £36 million budget, including funding to help deliver the commitment to double the land used for organic farming.
Marine Scotland directorate, which is responsible for the integrated management of Scotland's seas, will see funding rise by almost £10 million – underlining the Scottish Government’s commitment towards net zero and biodiversity through expansion of offshore renewables, climate-related research and environmental protection.
The successful Marine Fund Scotland, which has supported a range of marine-related businesses, will see funding maintained at £14.5 million.
Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon said: “Rural and coastal communities have been hit hard by the economic impacts of Brexit and the pandemic.
“This budget underlines our commitment to supporting these communities, sustaining and creating employment, while meeting our climate change responsibilities.
“We continue to press the UK Government to increase the allocation of marine funding to properly reflect the size and importance of Scotland’s marine sectors, and address underfunding in the past and the significant impacts of Brexit on these sectors.”
“At the same time, this funding will deliver sustainability, promote Scotland’s iconic food and drink produce and protect our natural environment for the generations to come.”
The Regional Inshore Fisheries Groups (RIFGs) aim to improve the management of inshore fisheries in the 0-6 nautical mile zone of Scottish waters, and to give commercial inshore fishermen a strong voice in wider marine management developments.