Scotland business

Scots farmers 'showing great resilience amid uncertainty'

Sheep farm Image copyright Getty Images

The agriculture sector in Scotland is showing signs of growth despite economic uncertainty, a report has claimed.

Analysis by Clydesdale Bank found total income from farming (TIFF) fell from £775m in 2014 to £653m in 2015.

However, initial estimates for 2016 have forecast a rise to £749m.

The bank said its own lending figures to the sector showed a 15% increase last year, adding that the industry had shown "great resilience".

The report found that 2017 also looked "positive" as a result of the fall in the value of sterling following the Brexit vote.

'Grounds for optimism'

It said: "With the level of subsidy to agriculture in sterling worth 10% to 15% more in the current year, and the price of almost all agricultural products 10% to 15% higher than this time last year, there are genuine grounds for optimism in terms in terms of TIFF for 2017.

"In addition, with a significant strengthening of sterling unlikely in the next couple of years during the Brexit negotiations, this should provide a good level of support for agricultural prices in the UK, making exports more attractive."

Image copyright Getty Images

The report also found that agricultural businesses were investing in research and development, renewables and technology to help "future proof" their operations.

Brian Colquhoun, from Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks, said: "Farmers have demonstrated genuine entrepreneurial spirit by investing to generate new income streams.

"We are fortunate to have the opportunity to work with many forward-thinking customers and it is incredibly important they know they have the support behind them when exploring these options."

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