NFUS survey identifies key issues for next generation

The price of land and start-up finance are the biggest challenges for farmers and crofters entering the agricultural industry, according to NFU Scotland’s members.

A survey focussing on the challenges facing the next generation of farmers and crofters was carried out by NFU Scotland in June, including at the Royal Highland Show.

The survey results will now be used to inform the work of the Union’s New Generation Committee and set priorities going forward.

Access to finance and grants; education, mentoring and advice; and availability and price of land were ranked as the top priorities by participants.

Mark Donald, NFU Scotland’s New Generation Committee Chairman commented: “The next generation of farmers and crofters is critical for the future of Scottish agriculture and we need an understanding at all levels right across the industry of the challenges and barriers that are currently being faced so we can work to overcome them and encourage more young people to enter the industry and work to make their business thrive.
“We had a strong response of 85 members in total who provided a wide range of answers, with clear trends identified from this.

“The results demonstrate a clear problem with start-up finance and access to land, two critical components that can mean the success or failure of a business and we will be taking this forward at our next meeting on August 15 to identify pathways for us to work to overcome these.

“We’re keen to hear from those in the industry, and engage further with other stakeholders who can help our young people to enter the industry, successfully and to help their business thrive for generations after them.
“We’ve now set up a dedicated Facebook group for NFU Scotland’s New Generation activity, and would invite anyone interested in learning more about this activity to join the group.”

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About The Author

John Swire - Deputy editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer as well as responsibility for the Agronomist and Arable Farmer and Farm Business websites. After 17 years milking cows on the family farm John started writing about agriculture in 1998 and has since written for a variety of publications and has developed a wide circle of contacts within the industry. When not working John is a season ticket holder at Stoke City and also of late has become a fitness freak, listing cycling, swimming and walking as his exercises of choice.