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Scottish Independence and Scotland's Future
Scottish Innovation Party (SIP) Agriculture

I think we need to look at our Agricultural system to set the scene...

Some 75% of Scotland’s land mass is under agricultural production, making the industry the single biggest determinant of the landscape we see around us. Scotland’s farmers, crofters and growers produce output worth around £2.3 billion a year, and are responsible for much of Scotland’s £400 million food exports, rising to £2.4 billion if whisky exports are included.

Around 65,000 people are directly employed in agriculture in Scotland – this represents around 8% of the rural workforce and means that agriculture is the third largest employer in rural Scotland after the service and public sectors. It is estimated that a further 250,000 jobs (1 in 10 of all Scottish jobs) are dependent on agriculture.

The agri-food sector is now the UKs largest manufacturing sector.

Around 85% of Scotland is classified as Less Favoured Area. This is an EU classification which recognises natural and geographic disadvantage.

There are large numbers of farms in north west Scotland, but these are significantly smaller in terms of the numbers of livestock/area of crops grown than farms elsewhere. Sheep farming is the predominant type of farming in the north west and there are also many sheep farms in the south of the country. Larger cereal farms are concentrated in the east. Beef farming takes place throughout Scotland, but is particularly common in the south west. This area also has the bulk of the dairy industry.

Farm Incomes

According to the Scottish Executive’s Environment and Rural Affairs Department, the average net farm income for 2007/08 is estimated to be £40,000.

Total income from farming in Scotland in 2008 was £630 million.


Around 65,000 people are directly employed in agriculture in Scotland. Best estimates suggest that for every worker employed in agriculture another three workers are employed elsewhere. These jobs are largely in agricultural supply, and in food and drink processing.

For the Scottish farming and food industry, access to the EU market without barriers and any new obstacles has always been a priority. Next to the rest of the UK, Europe remains the largest destination for Scottish food exports and a market that offers a good opportunity for growth.

Now that we know the Prime Minister has ruled out remaining within the Single Market, what will become of utmost importance to the Scottish agricultural industry is that the Prime Minister achieves her objective of a bold and ambitious free trade agreement with the EU.

NFU Scotland wants barrier and tariff-free trade as well as the freedom to set our own appropriate rules for farming. With the UK and Scottish Governments both now having set out their opposing stalls, for NFU Scotland there will be a renewed focus for discussions with the both governments on a number of vital issues.

Will the future trade arrangements allow Scottish producers the best possible access to EU markets, and could this be in the form of a ‘special deal’ as has been suggested for the automotive and financial services industries? With freedom of movement clearly still presenting a sticking point, will we retain and secure access to a competent and reliable workforce? And will the negotiation allow the appropriate agricultural policy to be developed in the UK that provides appropriate funding levels and flexibility in policy-making that recognises Scotland’s unique agricultural systems. It must also ensure that there is a fair share of the risk and reward across the whole supply chain?

The Prime Minister argued today that her position was the most “economically rational”, as it would increase trade and therefore job and growth-creation. Whereas for the Scottish Government, it views remaining within the Single Market as essential to securing “Scotland’s economic, social and cultural interests”.

For NFU Scotland members, profitability is king. Scottish producers are ready and waiting for the opportunities that Brexit can provide, but this must not be at the expense of the provenance of Scottish produce; nor result in cheap imports driving down standards of production.

NFU Scotland 2016 Annual Report (pdf)

Scotland's Farming Year - Winter

Scotland's Farming Year - Spring

Scotland's Farming Year - Summer

Scotland's Farming Year - Autumn

A Day in the Life of an Argricultural Technician

Interesting articles and sites...

Time for another agriculture revolution
Growing yields in agri-investments
Greens Fed on Rainbow Waste (Aquaponics)
FoodTank - The Think Tank for Food
We’re building a global community for safe, healthy, nourished eaters. We aim to educate, inspire, advocate, and create change. We spotlight and support environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable ways of alleviating hunger, obesity, and poverty and create networks of people, organizations, and content to push for food system change.
50 New Innovative Agriculture Business Ideas in 2017

Do you want to start a money making agriculture/farming? If YES, here are 50 new innovative profitable agricultural small business ideas you can start in 2017 with no money / experience.
Agriculture innovation on display at Canada’s Farm Progress Show
Canada’s largest trade show, the Farm Progress Show, played host to over 600 exhibitors who showcased the latest in agriculture technologies.

This Farm of the Future Uses No Soil and 95% Less Water

Deep underground in Clapham, there lies a farm

To Feed the World, Improve Photosynthesis
By reworking the basic metabolism of crops, plant scientists hope to forestall devastating food shortages by Katherine Bourzac August 14, 2017

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