The Crofting Commission has commissioned a piece of research into how crofting agriculture
is currently being supported financially.
The study aims to analyse the current agricultural and environmental support for
crofting, while examining the feasibility of creating any new forms of support more
specific to crofting.
This should enable the commission to contribute more informed thinking to the discussions,
led by the Scottish Government and its rural advisers about possible support structures
The research is being undertaken by Gwyn Jones, a director of the European Forum
on Nature Conservation and Pastoralism. Mr Jones has almost 20 years of experience
as an agricultural advisor in the Highlands and Islands.
Crofting Commission convener Rod Mackenzie said: “As well as being the crofting regulator,
the commission’s role includes promoting the interests of crofting.
“We are aware of how important agriculture support is for the future of crofting,
and believe it is vital that the debate about future support systems takes account
of the particular challenges faced by crofters. More qualitative evidence is needed
to help construct appropriate support for the future and that is why we have commissioned
The research is due to be completed by the end of June.
While primarily a regulatory body, the Crofting Commission said it recognises that
the crofting system cannot simply operate by enforcement of regulations alone.
It said support mechanisms are important to the future of the crofting system and
it is vital that these deliver to best effect, thereby making it more feasible for
the commission to deliver its regulatory responsibilities.