The aim of this report was to assess the impact of the starter farm programme. More specifically to identify the benefits, challenges and impacts the tenancy has had on the tenants and their families. Following consultation with the FONE group a questionnaire was developed to elicit information from the tenants pertaining to their Starter Farm Initiative experiences, and their personal and business developments during their tenancy. In response to SRUC Social Science Ethics and RESAS (Scottish Government's Rural and Environment Science and Analytical Services) adjustments were made to the questions to improve clarity. The information was gathered through telephone interviews following a semi-structured interview script. This approach enabled standard questions to be asked to each interviewee whilst allowing points raised to be explored in more depth, providing a mixture of both quantitative and qualitative data. All ten of the starter farmers were approached to take part in this evaluation and eight tenants agreed to participate. Interviews were carried out in summer 2022, these lasted between 45 minutes to over two hours. Due to the small sample size individual responses are not reported and all identifiable features have been removed.
It is noted that this report is unbalanced as it only reports tenant's experiences and their perception of tenant-landlord relationships. The report authors acknowledge the potential for participant biases (e.g. recall bias, negativity bias) to be embedded in some responses. Further, it is fully acknowledged that there is no feedback or comments from the landlords' position.
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