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Rumbles: Robust leadership needed to boost rural industries

June 14, 2018 4:00 PM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Following two years of setbacks for Scotland's agricultural industries, North East MSP Mike Rumbles has welcomed figures published today that show a significant recovery in the sector during 2017.

Farm income rose from £672 million in 2016 to £917 million in 2017, following an 8 year low in 2015 of £639 million. Meanwhile production (outputs) rose from £2.8 billion to £3.2 billion in the same period.

Mr Rumbles, Scottish Liberal Democrat spokesperson for rural affairs, said:

"The figures for last year are very encouraging and many people who work in Scotland's agricultural sector will breathe a sigh of relief that farm incomes are finally going in the right direction.

"For the previous two years many farms have been operating at a loss while countless others rely on farm support payments to balance the books. This new data proves that there is still room for ambition and growth in many areas of our rural economy.

"The task now is to head off uncertainty and the destabilising effects of the Scottish Government's woeful handling of farm payments and Brexit. That means we need robust leadership and a plan for how we support our rural industries post 2020, neither of which our governments in Westminster or Edinburgh seem able to offer."