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Tenanted Sector Key to Future of Scottish Farming

NFUS President addresses Rural Law Conference

A vibrant tenanted sector in Scotland is key if our farming industry is to attract new lifeblood into the sector according to NFU Scotland President, Nigel Miller.

Speaking on the second day of a Rural Law Conference, being staged by the University of Aberdeen, Mr Miller told delegates that the positive momentum around tenancy reform - much of it generated by the stakeholder group, the Tenant Farming Forum (TFF) – must continue.

TFF recommendations, designed to reinvigorate the let land market in Scotland, have been adopted into legislation and the Union is keen to see other measures taken up that will help make more let land available.

Speaking in Aberdeen, Mr Miller said:

“I am delighted that a great deal of hard work by the TFF has already resulted in positive changes to the rules governing the letting of land. 

“A reduction in the minimum length of a Limited Duration Tenancy (LDT) and the fact that a Short Limited Duration Tenancy (SLDT) can now, at any point in its duration, be converted to an LDT are now in legislation.  Rules on fixed equipment and an extension on tenancy succession to include grandchildren are similarly welcome.

“It is vital for the future of our industry that we continue to build on what has been achieved and maintain the momentum generated by the TFF. The tenanted sector is hugely important as a route into the industry for the new energy and talent that Scottish farming will need in the years ahead.

“We need to build a more positive culture between those with land to let and those looking to farm that land.  The Union is keen to explore with Government the potential for giving taxation benefits to those letting land to new entrants into farming. 

“At the same time, we would like to remove some of the potential for animosity between landowners and tenants by taking a fresh look at having an agreed arbitration process at the time of rent reviews.

“There are many positive developments taking place in Scottish agriculture at the moment and we need to make sure that landowners and tenant farmers are both well placed to capitalise on the rising demand for food from our fields.”  

Notes to editors

  • Scotland’s Tenant Farming Forum (TFF) aims to promote a healthy tenanted farm sector in Scotland.  NFU Scotland is a member of the TFF, along with the following organisations: Scottish Tenant Farmers Association (STFA), Scottish Estates Business Group (SEBG), Scottish Land and Estates (SLE) and Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).   Observers on the group are the Scottish Government, the Law Society and the Scottish Association of Young Farmers Clubs (SAYFC).
  • The University of Aberdeen, Rural Law Research Group is holding its second Rural Law conference.  The event is exploring sustainable rural development under the crosscutting themes of sustainability, diversification and planning. The two-day conference at the University of Aberdeen started yesterday (Thursday, September 1) and finishes today (Friday, September 2).

Ends

Contact Bob Carruth on 0131 472 4006

Date Published:

News Article No.: 149/11


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