South Scotland MSP and Scottish Labour’s Spokesperson for Economic Development and Rural Affairs Colin Smyth has praised the region’s farmers for keeping the country going during the pandemic.
The local MSP said it is now time for the Scottish and UK Governments to work to support them in the midst of national and regional issues, including brexit.
Colin was speaking during a visit with Scottish Labour Leader Anas Sarwar to NFU Scotland’s Regional Chair in Dumfries and Galloway, Colin Ferguson’s family dairy farm at Knockann, Kirkinner near Newton Stewart last week.
Discussion focussed on national farming policy, communities, employment and development of business opportunities and skills
Colin Smyth said: “It was great to take Anas to see first hand the fantastic work being done by our region’s farmers and I’d like to thank Colin Ferguson and his partner Rebecca Dawes for taking the time to meet with us and discuss some of the issues they, and farmers across the country, are facing.
“Our agricultural sector has really stepped up to the mark during the pandemic and worked tirelessly to keep us going, and now it’s time to repay them and ensure that the many issues which are facing the industry are addressed.
“This is a difficult time for agriculture and we need action from both of our Governments to ensure we get things right going forward.”
Scottish Labour Leader Anas Sarwar said: “It was an honour to visit the farm at Knockann and speak to Colin Ferguson about some of the issues which face our agriculture sector.
“The clock is ticking towards the end of the EU transition period in 2024 – but farmers and crofters still have no clarity on what lies ahead when it comes to the future of agricultural support.
“We have an opportunity to design a brand new rural support scheme that really works for Scotland. Getting this right is not just important to agriculture – it is crucial to our environment, our economy, and our rural communities.”