Highlands & Islands

Crofting generates £86m in revenue says report

Crofting generated an estimated total revenue of almost £86m last year, according to a new Scottish government report.

Over the past four years, more than 150 new crofts were created.

The figures are contained in the new Economic Condition of Crofting 2011-2014 report.

Crofting Minister Aileen McLeod said the document provided the first ever estimate of the revenue generated by the industry.

She said: "The picture overall is positive, with the number of active crofts rising, and crofting making a significant contribution to the Scottish economy. I want these positive trends to continue.

"With crofters more reliant on Common Agricultural Policy payments than other producers it is clearly crucial that we get the balance of support right.

"Under the Scottish government's CAP implementation plans, we estimate that direct funding for crofters will increase from around £20m in 2013 to £33m in 2019."

The report also said that 347 abandoned crofts have been brought back into use in the last four years.

Many of Scotland's crofts are found in the Western Isles and the Highlands.

A crofter is a person who lives on and works a small area of land known as a croft. A crofter is normally a tenant paying rent to the landlord of the croft.

There are also owner-occupiers, crofters who have bought their croft.

A croft is a small agricultural unit and often forms part of a larger estate.

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