£6 million for farmer affected by extreme weather

The Scottish Government has announced that it is making available £6 million to assist farmers affected by the extreme weather this year.

The move was widely welcomed with both the National Farmers Union of Scotland and politicians praising the aid.

NFUS president Nigel Miller said: “This significant package of support is a very positive result which, for many people, could provide the lifeline they require.

“Some of the worst storms of recent times might now have passed, but they have left in their wake losses for every farming sector, a legacy which will have its full impact this autumn when lambs are sold and crops are harvested.

“There are some areas of the country where the winter snowstorms devastated, particularly, sheep stocks and some early lambs, but the severe weather problems of 2012 and 2013 have impacted not just in these areas but across the whole of Scotland resulting in livestock and crop losses, as well as significantly increased feed requirements.

“This variability has been recognised in the package of government support and will mean that aid can be targeted at those in need wherever they are located.

“Many businesses will enter this winter with budget challenges due to significantly reduced income, compounded by increased input costs. This government assistance will help businesses pilot their way beyond the winter and into 2014, when the real road to recovery will start.”

Jim Hume, an MSP for the South of Scotland, added: “Farmers were hit hard by the very severe weather at a time when their livestock were especially vulnerable, and I know in my own area that farmers across the Borders and into Dumfries and Galloway were badly affected.

Galloway and West Dumfries MSP Alex Fergusson said: “I very much welcome this statement which will give some hope to farmers in Galloway that a measure of help is at hand to help them get through what is going to continue to be a desperately difficult year.

“I await with interest to see how this support will be delivered.”