Monday, 23 July 2012

Farmers and Crofters Reminded the Argyll and the Islands Survey Still Seeks their Views.

Scottish Agricultural College News Release. Farmers, crofters and land managers are being urged to complete the Survey recently sent out by SAC on behalf of the Argyll and Isles Agricultural Forum the regional partnership, set up to raise awareness of their concerns. The aim is to identify the level of confidence of agricultural businesses in the area and learn more about their future needs. The survey was issued last month and the response has been excellent to date, but there are many more opinions out there. Development Manager for the Forum, Fergus Younger says: “We want to catch as many different views as possible and gain a better understanding of farmers and crofters future intentions. Only then can this information be used with any authority by the forum, or when lobbying Government to develop initiatives that benefit the area.” Organisations on the Argyll and the Islands Agricultural Forum include farming, crofting and landowners bodies like NFUS, SCF and Scottish Land and Estates. There are conservation groups like RSPB Scotland, as well as local authorities, development agencies and advisers, such as SAC and SAOS, who encourage co operation. The last survey was completed nine years ago and much has happened since then. One of the main local consultants involved in producing this report, SAC’s Oban-based Robert Logan, notes; “This is an appropriate time to be seeking an update on producers’ thoughts and aspirations due to the period that has lapsed since the last report and the changes since then. We now face even more change with subsidy reform, strengthening Sterling, rising inflation and transport costs, so it is even more important to understand what those in the industry are thinking. “ Farmers and crofters are asked to continue sending in their completed Surveys using the pre-paid stamped addressed envelope provided. They can even opt to enter a prize draw for a crate of Fyne Beer! Any farmer or crofter who has not received a survey is also asked to contact their local NFUS or SAC office. The more surveys that are returned, the more confidence can be taken that the summary results reflects the consensus and used to achieve maximum benefit for the area.