Borders MSP wants ‘positive and sustainable’ future for agriculture

Rachael Hamilton MSP raised the lack of support for young people entering into agriculture with the Scottish Rural Minister.

At Portfolio Question time, Mrs Hamilton questioned the Rural Affairs Minister, Mairi Gougeon MSP about the lack of support available to new entrants to farming, especially young women.

The Scottish Government discontinued the successful New Entrants scheme back in August 2018, to much criticism from NFU Scotland and other rural organisations.

The Women in Agriculture Taskforce, which seeks to find solutions to encourage more women into agriculture, published a report in November last year, highlighting the barriers for women.

Mrs Hamilton raised the lack of reliable rural childcare and lack of new grant support as obstacles, which women face in pursuing a career in agriculture.

The Borders MSP is calling for the reinstatement of the New Entrants Capital Scheme to help secure the future of farming.

 

Rachael Hamilton, Member for Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire said:

“The average age of a farmer is 59, and we need to ensure that the next generation are getting a chance to make a successful living from farming.

“Young people, especially women, face barriers to entering into the family farm business, or setting up their own.

“We need to see the SNP Government take the future of farming seriously if we are to ensure that it continues on well for generations to come.

“The SNP claim that rural Scotland is a priority, yet with everything they do, they show that, to them, rural Scotland is dispensable.