Agriculture Bill: consultation analysis

An independent analysis of the responses to the consultation on proposals for a new Agriculture Bill, “Delivering our Vision for Scottish Agriculture. Proposals for a new Agriculture Bill”, which was open from 29 August until 5 December 2022.

Impacts on young people

Several barriers to young people working in agriculture were identified by respondents. These were that renting/buying land is very difficult for young farmers, that many young people are lacking in rural skills, and that farming is not appealing to young people because of low wages and lack of housing in rural communities.

Positive impacts identified were:

  • Wages: Several respondents put forward that increasing wage rates for young people could make farming more appealing to this group.
  • Innovation: A minority of respondents viewed innovation as a route for fresh thinking from new participants in agriculture.
  • Climate Change: Looking further into the future, a few respondents highlighted the positive impact more sustainable agriculture would have on the next generation by protecting them from the worst impacts of climate change.

Negative impacts identified were:

  • Reduction in jobs: On the contrary to the above, a few respondents argued that the proposals put forward would reduce the number of jobs available for young people. A few respondents cite wage changes, general constriction of the farming sector and reductions to production levels to reduce emissions and drivers of this.
  • Insufficient support for farming families: Several responses drew on personal experience of not having sufficient support as a farming family and thus not encouraging their children to stay in the family business.
  • Entitlements: A few respondents argue that using entitlements to access support payments has, and will continue to, hinder young people from entering the industry.



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