By Scottish Crofting Federation chair, Donald MacKinnon

2021 was a difficult year for us all. Despite the challenges, crofters enjoyed excellent prices for store lambs in the Autumn and, for the most part, for calves too. As the season progresses I hope that finishers continue to be rewarded for their confidence in our stock.

Progress has been slow with the development of a replacement agricultural support system. As we begin 2022 it is crucial that Scottish Government gives more clarity to the industry on what lies ahead. Crofting must not be ignored in this process, all sectors of the industry must be involved, it is clear that maintaining the status quo is not an option.

Under pressure from SCF, Scottish Government have restated their commitment to deliver crofting law reform in this parliamentary session. We now need clarity on how they intend to do this and when. We have been clear that this process should not be delayed and must begin as soon as possible to avoid running out of parliamentary time.

Crofting urgently needs appropriate investment and improved regulation, neither will be achieved without the political will to deliver change. Let’s hope that in 2022 we make progress in allowing crofting to fulfil the potential we all know it has.