Behind the headlines of Scottish farming
Detailed analysis of agriculture in Scotland, published today, paints a positive picture of the sector.
Statistics published today – the Economic Report on Scottish Agriculture – provide in-depth analysis of previously released headline figures. The Agriculture Facts And Figures Pocketbook, also published today, contains key Scottish agricultural statistics along with selected UK and EU comparisons.
Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead said the more detailed figures would prove invaluable in the ongoing Common Agricultural Policy reform negotiations.
Among the points highlighted in today's statistics are:
- Total income from farming has increased over the past 10 years by £240 million (67 per cent)
- Average farm business income increased by £11,000 (32 per cent) – from £34,000 in 2009/10 to £45,000 in 2010/11
- Average output increased by £22,000 (17 per cent) which outweighed the £11,000 (seven per cent) increase in input costs
- Scotland has 18 per cent of the total UK cattle population, 21 per cent of the UK sheep and nine per cent of the UK's pigs
- Production of strawberries and raspberries has more than doubled over the past 10 years, increasing by 15,100 tonnes
Mr Lochhead said:
“These figures paint a positive picture of Scotland’s agriculture sector – notwithstanding challenges such as rising input costs - which very much reflects the optimistic mood that I am detecting from my meetings with farmers. This is good news and demonstrates that the agricultural sector continues to make a significant positive contribution to Scotland’s economy.
“The ongoing CAP reform negotiations mean that future agriculture policy is currently facing unprecedented levels of scrutiny which means it’s essential that we have access to this level of detailed information.
“By enabling us to map trends and measure Scotland’s performance against the rest of the UK and some EU countries, we are better able to make a strong case for securing the best possible CAP reform deal for Scotland.”