An extra tranche of funding worth £2.5million for new entrants to farming has been announced by the Scottish Government.
The latest award will be shared between 47 new farming businesses.
It means that £9million has now invested in supporting the development and creation of almost 180 new farms across Scotland.
Rural Secretary Fergus Ewing described new entrants as vital for the sustainability of the industry. He said they “drove innovation and best practice, improved efficiencies and contributed towards the economic vitality of the sector”.
The funds were welcomed by NFU Scotland’s new generation committee chairman, Mark Donald, who said the money would help kickstart fledgling farming businesses.
He said: “The motivation, skills and energy of many younger folk seeking to carve out a life in farming has to be matched by access to land and capital – ideas and aspirations will remain grounded otherwise.
“It is promising that despite the real challenges currently facing our industry that there is a host of enterprising, enthusiastic young individuals ready to seek out new opportunities in our industry.”
Mr Donald added that while there were still many challenges faced by new generation businesses, the union saw benefit in allocating more Scottish Rural Development Programme funding to help meet a clear demand.
Applications for the next round of funding for young farmers and new entrants start-up grants opened on Saturday.