Tackling climate change in farming and food production

06 January 2021

Article: 55/0105

The Scottish Government has announced that projects with a specific focus on efficiency, cutting emissions and improving environmental performance have been selected as part of the next round of the Knowledge Transfer and Innovation Fund (KTIF).

The KTIF, which is delivered through the Scottish Rural Development Programme (SRDP) 2014 to 2020, will provide almost £63,000 to support projects which will explore ways to help reduce emissions and tackle climate change in farming and food production, and could result in the creation of jobs in the rural economy.

Funding has been approved for the following projects: 

  • Demystifying Sensor Farming, facilitated by Scottish Agricultural Organisation Society (SAOS), seeks to support family farms and crofters embrace the potential of new technology around sensors and digital farming, in order to facilitate the gathering of actionable data that will optimise for profitability and sustainability. 
  • Agroforestry in Action, facilitated by the Soil Association (Scotland), aims to increase awareness and understanding amongst farmers, crofters and other rural stakeholders of the opportunities for agroforestry in Scotland and its benefits for productive and sustainable farming, resource efficient land management, the environment, nature and a safe climate. 
  • Bringing Biodiversity Back, facilitated by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), seeks to highlight existing work undertaken on farms, crofts and estates in four specific regions of Scotland to promote activities and help to increase biodiversity, whilst ensuring financial sustainability for farming operations. The project aims to ensure ongoing impact by using these initial workshop sessions as a starting point for a facilitated community of practice to offer support and guidance to each of the four regions in developing their nature friendly farming work.

On a related matter, two new farmer-led groups are being established to develop advice and proposals to the Scottish Government on how to cut emissions and tackle climate change as reaffirmed in the recently published Climate Change Plan. The Dairy Group and the Hill, Upland and Crofting Group (HUCG) will focus on the dairy and high nature value sectors.

The formation of these groups brings the total number of farmer-led climate groups to five, following on from the Industry led Pig Sector group, the Arable sector group, which met for the first time in December, and the Suckler Beef Climate Group, which has already published recommendations and a separate programme board has now been set up to take these forward.

Sources: Scottish Government, 29 December 2020 and Scottish Government, 22 December 2020