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20. The Less Favoured Areas Support Scheme

The principal objective for LFA policy is to maintain farm management in less-favoured areas based on environmental principles and provision of other functions beyond food production such as public good provision. The aim is sustainable resource management which includes particularly preservation of soil, water and air quality, maintenance of the cultural landscape, a high degree of biodiversity and protection from natural hazards (ESPON, 2004). In Scotland , specific LFA support has been provided from 1975 until 2000 through the Hill Livestock Compensatory Allowances (HLCA), a headage payment for breeding beef cattle and ewes. However, the Rural Development Regulation (RDR), emerged from the Agenda 2000 reform as the second CAP pillar, required that LFA support payments must be made on an area basis. Accordingly, the Scottish Executive introduced the Less Favoured Area Support Scheme (LFASS) as the successor of the HLCA in 2001.


The LFASS aims to ensure that agricultural activities continue in naturally disadvantaged areas, more remote and peripheral regions, where agriculture has a key role to play in sustaining fragile rural economies, and maintaining valuable biodiversity and landscapes - yet where agriculture would not prove feasible in the absence of such support. The LFASS compensates disadvantaged farmers and crofters for the low productivity and additional costs they face in such areas.

The Less Favoured Areas Support Scheme - Implementation >>