New report on farm starter opportunities
A new report outlines a plan to increase the number of starter opportunities for new entrants to farming.
The ten-point action plan aims to kick start a new generation of farmers by dramatically increasing the number of starter opportunities on public land.
The plan forms part of the final report from an industry-led group. Recommendations in the 'New Farming Starter Opportunities on Publicly Owned Land' report set out how start-up grants, access to Basic Payments allied to advice and skills programmes can facilitate entry and allow individuals to develop.
Welcoming the publication of the report, Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said:
"Supporting the next generation of farmers is a key priority to help build and grow our rural economy. New entrants are essential to any industry, bringing energy, enthusiasm, new ideas and approaches.
"We firmly believe that there is a supply of land in public ownership with the potential to offer a route into farming for new entrants. That is why we established this short life group to investigate how this land could be used to kick start the next generation of farmers, secure food production and boost our economy for years to come.
"I, therefore, very much welcome the New Farming Starter Opportunities on Publicly Owned Land report and would like to thank all those involved in pulling together such a comprehensive set of recommendations aimed at dramatically increasing the number of starter opportunities on public land.
"I am also delighted that Henry Graham has agreed to continue in his role as Chair to set up and coordinate the New Entrants Opportunities Programme. I look forward to following the work of this group as it progresses over the coming years."
Henry Graham, Chair of the group said:
"It was clear to all members of the group that new entrants are highly desirable and access to land is a key requirement. Those seeking to enter agriculture often require assistance to get on the first step of the farming ladder and the review found there is a supply of starter opportunities on publicly owned land. I now look forward to coordinating the New Entrants Opportunities Programme highlighted in the report."