A new service designed to connect potential entrants into farming with landowners who have hectares available has been launched in Scotland.
The so-called Scottish Land Matching Service has been created by the Scottish Government and will be hosted by NFU Scotland. In addition to helping to initiate discussions between new entrants and landowners, the service is being set up to provide ‘unbiased guidance and support’ to both parties.
“The availability of land remains one of the primary barriers to attracting new entrants to farming and I am clear overcoming this challenge is vital for the future sustainability of the industry,” said Scotland’s Rural Economy Secretary, Fergus Ewing (pictured above).
“With current land matching, joint venture and contract farming agreements administered by a range of parties, the advice available is often ad-hoc and variable in quality.
“That is why this new service is so important, as it will manage a database of potential service users and then offer them support to achieve a mutually beneficial outcome.”
Speaking on behalf of service hosts, NFUS, Gemma Cooper, head of the union’s Policy Team, said: “We’re delighted to host the new service, which will build on the excellent work undertaken by those within the Union who had the vision to set up our joint venture hub.
“We believe the service will play a pivotal role in helping to address some of the issues that exist currently in relation to arrangements for accessing land. The link to the Farming Opportunities for New Entrants Group (FONES) will provide an important link to future policy and NFUS looks forward to being at the forefront of this.”
Access NFUS joint venture hub