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New Deal Needed for New Generation

NFU Scotland has called for a ‘new generation’ road map to be put in place that will better assist those who are the future of Scottish agriculture.

Speaking at AgriScot – a major one-day event taking place at Ingliston near Edinburgh today (Wednesday, 11 November) – NFUS President Nigel Miller said that Scotland’s new breed of farmers were willing and able to contribute to Scotland’s food, farming and rural economies but a support structure must be put in place to assist them.

NFU Scotland has established a New Generation group whose views and opinions are already feeding in to important policy debates, such as that around reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and the growing renewable energy sector. 

Sharing a platform with Scotland’s Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs Richard Lochhead, Mr Miller said:

“If we are to ensure that the talent and enthusiasm that clearly exists in Scotland’s new generation of farmers is to be captured for the long term benefit of our industry then we need to consider a road map that will assist them over the many hurdles they may face.

“Ongoing CAP Reform discussions means that our historic system of delivering the Single Farm Payment will fundamentally change but that is unlikely to progress at a pace that will help those farmers who have come into our industry in recent times and are currently locked out of support arrangements.   If changes to the SFP are to be phased in from 2014 or 2015 onwards, we must have a national reserve in place that helps new farmers from day one of the reform coming into force.

“In the interim, we need to examine how those who are not eligible for SFP or Less Favoured Area support can be assisted.  Priority access to rural development funding may be one way of helping them with their business plans.   Land availability is also crucial to those who are starting up and we need to work more closely with the wide range of stakeholders who may be in a position to create opportunities to get a foothold.

“Our New Generation group has also given us a clear idea of a package of additional support that would be of use to new entrants and we want to sit down with others including the Scottish Government, enforcement agencies and the banks to see what can be delivered.  A complementary package built around finance for investments, loan guarantees, advice, mentoring and assistance with compliance would go a long way to ensuring those entering our industry stay in it for the long haul.”  

Ends

Contact Bob Carruth on 0131 472 4006

Date Published:

News Article No.: 182/11


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