The first loans for Less Favoured Areas Support Scheme (LFASS) funds have started to reach Scottish farmers’ bank accounts.
The Scottish Government has confirmed that more than 7,000 payments worth more than £42.8million have been processed.
The loans are in place of full payments which are still running behind schedule because of long-running technical issues with the government’s faulty IT system.
The payments received as loans will be automatically deducted from the EU payments once applications have been fully processed.
Rural Secretary Fergus Ewing appealed to any farmers and crofters who have not yet applied for or accepted the offer of a loan to do so as soon as possible.
He said: “These payments are targeted to help some of the most ‘vulnerable’ farmers and crofters to financially plan – many of whom work to extremely tight profit margins.
“The millions being paid from the LFASS loan scheme will enable farmers and crofters to get on with making purchases and investing for the forthcoming summer and autumn periods. Of course, much of that investment will benefit the wider rural economy.”