Rog Wood: ‘That system has resulted in large numbers of small farmers
trapped in a lifetime of low incomes and hard work’
By Rog Wood Farming correspondent
One of the original objectives of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) was
to keep small farmers on the land by supporting their incomes with
subsidies. That system has tragically resulted in large numbers of small
farmers trapped in a lifetime of low incomes and hard work.
A recent report from rural insurer NFU Mutual revealed that over 27 per
cent of Scotland’s farmers plan to diversify in to another enterprise to
support their farm business after Brexit.
The insurer surveyed farmers with established diversification businesses to
gain insight into their experiences, as well as farmers solely involved in
farming activities, to understand their attitudes and plans for future
The important role diversification plays in the sustainability of many
farms was demonstrated with 63 per cent reporting that the income produced
by diversification was “vital” or “significant” to their farm. On average,
diversified farms report that 27 per cent of their income comes from
The most common diversification on Scottish farms was renewable energy (34
per cent), followed by property letting (17 per cent) and holiday
accommodation (8.5 per cent).
There seems to have been a mad rush by farmers to get involved in the
renewable energy bonanza. All over Scotland wind turbines have been erected
with plans for many more. Then there are small-scale hydro-electric schemes
as well as solar panels on the roofs of farm buildings or farm houses.