The Scottish government will provide up to £6m in funding to fruit and vegetable growers in Scotland during the next two years.
Funding has been made available through an extension to the Fruit and Vegetable Aid scheme and is designed to improve the sustainability, market value and quality of fresh produce.
Producers will be able to use the funding to invest in better and larger facilities, which will allow smaller producers to access larger, more profitable markets.
Farming co-operatives, including the Scottish Borders Produce, East of Scotland Growers, and Angus Growers, will all have access to funding.
The fruit and vegetable sector in Scotland has faced a number of challenges in recent years, including labour and water shortages.
Scottish rural affairs secretary Mairi Gougeon said: “Supporting our local fruit and vegetable growers is crucial – for so many reasons; to make fresh, local produce more readily available in local shops, to support jobs in the agricultural sector, and to increase our food security as a nation.”
Brian Aitchison, secretary of Scottish Borders Produce, said they were very grateful for the extension to the support funding available from the scheme for the next two years.
“As a farmer’s co-operative, we continuously work towards spreading crop yield variances and financial risks.
“The funding extension provides extra stability in a difficult growing environment.”