£6million aid for Borders and Scottish farmers

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The Scottish Government has today announced a £6million aid package for farmers hit by last year’s poor weather and the recent snow.

The funding is in addition to the recent £500,000 to help with the additional costs of fallen stock.

Industry experts will meet next week to work out details of the aid scheme to target the help.

Stow livestock producer and Scottish farming union president Nigel Miller said: “This significant package of support is a very positive result which, for many people, could provide the lifeline they require.

“Some of the worst storms of recent times have left in their wake losses for every farming sector.”

The full impact would not be felt by the public until the autumn when crops are harvest and lambs sold he said

“There are some areas of the country where the winter snowstorms devastated, particularly, sheep stocks and some early lambs, but the severe weather problems of 2012 and 2013 have impacted not just in these areas but across the whole of Scotland resulting in livestock and crop losses, as well as significantly increased feed requirements.

“This Government assistance will help businesses pilot their way beyond the winter and into 2014, when the real road to recovery will start. “

Scottish Government member, Paul Wheelhouse, SNP MSP for the South of Scotland, said: “I hope the farmers and industry representatives I met (at a recent Borders farmers union meeting) will take heart from it. Contending with the weather recently has proven to be a tougher challenge than usual for many farmers in the Borders.”