Government wants Crofting Commission to 'refocus attention'
Fergus Ewing has said the Scottish government wants to see the Crofting Commission "refocusing attention on being an effective regulator".
This year has seen the body involved in a public row with groups of crofters.
Its board has made a public apology for its handling of this dispute and sought the resignation of its convener, who says he has done nothing wrong.
The minister made his comment in connection with legislation for the commission's elections in 2017.
Legislation has been approved by the Scottish Parliament for next year's election of commissioners to the board of crofting's regulatory body.
While Mr Ewing has not mentioned the issues faced by the present board, he said: "We want to see the commission focus on building on successful developments in crofting, refocusing attention on being an effective regulator and delivering an excellent service to crofters.
"To do this, we need people who care about the long-term future of crofting to stand for election, or re-election next March.
"It is vital that all crofters make their voice heard by voting in next year's election to ensure that the Crofting Commission represents and reflects the interests and diversity of our crofting communities."
His statement follows a meeting of the board in Inverness on Wednesday.