Scottish agriculture sees positive growth

Rising incomes from the Scottish farming sector is helping the sector make a significant contribution to the economy, according to figures published by the Scottish government.

Scotland accounts for 18% of the total UK cattle population, 21% of UK sheep and 9% of the UK’s pigs.

In the past 10 years the country has seen the income from farming increase by £240m (67%). This increase has meant the average farm business income has gone up by £11,000 (32%) from 2009/10, to £45,000 in 2010/2011.

The average output increased by £22,000 (17%), which outweighed the £11,000 (7%) increase in input costs.

Rural affairs secretary Richard 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 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.”