We must transform our support for agriculture and rural communities

Our rural communities must be at the heart of our plans to tackle the climate emergency.

The current model of agriculture funding isn’t working for farmers, public finances, climate or nature, says Scottish Green MSP Ariane Burgess.

Speaking in a Stage One debate on the Agriculture and Rural Communities (Scotland) Bill, Ms Burgess will call for a transformation in how we support farming and food production, welcoming the Scottish Government’s Bill as a significant step on that journey.

Ms Burgess will say: “We are at a crossroads. We have a once in a lifetime opportunity to improve how we support agriculture and rural communities. 

“We can secure food production in Scotland and support farmers, crofters and growers to thrive, while reducing the sector’s impact on climate and nature. Indeed, we can help more farmers to enhance biodiversity and capture carbon, as they continue to produce food and underpin rural communities.”

Ms Burgess will add: “I cannot express enough my appreciation to the farmers, crofters and growers that are already leading the way. I’m clear that this Bill must lead to more support for you. And it must support others to adopt climate- and nature-friendly farming – ensuring that it is profitable for your business as well as the planet and our future.”

Ms Burgess will conclude: “This might also be the last chance we have to correct our course, to get on track to end the nature emergency and keep our Paris Agreement commitment, while making our farms more profitable and resilient, creating jobs and strengthening rural communities.”