Farmers are facing ‘perfect storm’

Stuart McNicol at his farm Castleton, North Berwick.

Stuart McNicol at his farm Castleton, North Berwick.

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The Scottish Government election in May is seen by NFU Scotland as “one of the most important for its members in recent times”.

Falling incomes, increased red tape and support payment problems have created a “perfect storm” for many farmers which is why NFU Scotland is organising eleven hustings events across the country in the run up to the election.

Candidates from all the main Scottish parties standing in May will attend the Borders hustings, which takes place at the Buccleuch Arms, St Boswells, on Monday, April 4, at 7.30pm, the day that NFU Scotland launches their manifesto for Scottish farming.

NFU Scotland’s regional chairman for Lothian & Borders Stuart McNicol said: “This election comes at an unprecedented time for farmers in the Lothians and Borders. Global forces added to the well-versed problems concerning delivery of support payments have combined to create a perfect storm.

“That was the key message that politicians took away from NFU Scotland’s rally at the Scottish Parliament in March, where a significant number of farmers and businesses from the region were represented. Now is the time for us to ask our politicians whether they can step up to the plate and fight for farming and the food and drink sector within the sea of other voices.

“Seventeen years on from the advent of devolution in Scotland, rural affairs and agricultural policy has become ingrained within Scottish political life. We have enjoyed a good working relationship with our MSPs across the political spectrum, regularly hosting well-established meetings across the region.

“We look forward to continuing this close and very positive engagement in the new parliament.”