The severe weather and its devastating effects on the farming industry has been recognised by the Scottish Government who have announced a package of support for farmers and crofters.
An additional £250,000 will also be set aside to offset the cost of retrieving fallen livestock.
Local MSP Maree Todd, SNP said:
“The Scottish Government’s £250,000 funding package will be a great help to those farmers and crofters in Orkney and Shetland dealing with the knock-on effect of the prolonged wet and severe weather over the last few months.
“Recognising the emotional and practical challenges facing farmers and crofters in what can often be extremely difficult and lonely work, the Scottish Government is also giving additional funding to the RSABI to help them provide emotional, practical and financial support across Scotland’s agricultural sector during the long days and nights.
“The SNP Government is listening to the concerns of the Scottish agricultural community at a time when they are rightly worried about the Tory Government’s Brexit ‘at all costs’ policy. While the Tories think they can do whatever they want to Scotland and get away with it, the SNP will continue to look after Scotland’s prized farmers and crofters as well as the jobs they support.”
Fergus Ewing, Rural Economy Secretary in the Scottish Government said:
“I’ve seen first-hand the massive impact that the prolonged wet and severe weather has been having on farmers, resulting in higher numbers of dead animals, and acute shortages in fodder across the country.
“We are already doing a lot to help farmers cope with the adverse conditions.
“This includes aiding cash flow through the LFASS and BPS loan schemes, providing specialist advice through our Farm Advisory Service, and actively seeking derogation from the European Commission from the Three Crop rule. However, there is more that can, and must be done.
“We know that there are real pressures on feed and fodder currently and that winter and Spring crop sowing has been compromised, so there are likely to be further problems later this autumn. We need to identify longer term solutions to address these so I plan to convene a meeting of commercial feed companies and cooperatives to explore what more can be done to reduce shortages, increase resilience and create collaborative solutions..
“Finally, I recognise the harsh weather and long working hours can take an awful toll on people’s wellbeing. I am therefore providing RSABI with additional funding to help them provide more vital practical and emotional support to farmers and their families.”
Click the link for more information on the RSABI (Royal Scottish Agricultural Benevolent Institution) and how it may be able to help.