>> 23 February 2010

SNP Gordon Westminster Candidate, Richard Thomson, has greeted warmly the news of an additional £5m of government backing for Scotland’s farmers, saying it recognised the role that the industry had to play in feeding the nation, powering the economy and improving the environment.

The funds were announced by Rural Affairs Secretary, Richard Lochhead, as he spoke at the National Farmers Union Scotland AGM in St Andrews. The extra support will include:
  • £3 million to off-set additional costs to farmers forced to move livestock following the collapse of buildings during the recent severe weather
  • £250,000 to educate schoolchildren across Scotland on the link between farming and the food on their plates
  • more than £1.4 million for land based skills development and training
  • almost £400,000 for a five year development programme to boost the £12 million raspberry industry 
In addition, £15 million will be brought forward from the Scotland Rural Development Programme business development budget to allow more farmers to invest in their farms now.

Mr Thomson said:

“The Scottish Government recognises the key role that farmers have to play, not only as food producers, but also as land managers.

“This investment in skills and training, assistance for building collapse and funding to help educate children in the processes which take their food from field to plate, will, I’m sure, be widely welcomed across the board.”

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