23 October 1998
1800 agriculture jobs to go in Dumfries & Galloway

A SCOTTISH Agricultural College report warns that 1800 jobs may go in farming and its allied trades in Dumfries & Galloway.

The region is heavily dependent on agriculture. Common Agriculture Policy supplements income is £330 per person, and the number of people employed in the industry is four times the Scottish average.

Peter Cook, co-author of the report, said reductions in farm spending would have a strong effect on the profitability of businesses supplying the farm sector. But on a more positive note he said food processing and environmental activities were ripe for development.

Farmers surveyed in the report expect 1998 profits to fall by between 50% and 100% from 1997 levels while farm models predict a fall in dairy and mixed beef/sheep farm profits from 1995 to 1998 of 63% and 68% respectively.

The farm said the trend towards fewer but larger farms with less full-time labour would continue, with low-ground units probably specialising and intensifying to minimise fixed costs units of output.

The report says: “In hill and upland areas destocking, especially of cattle, will take place as farms try to simplify their systems, and afforestation will continue to expand.”

  • The Herald 23/10/98 page 28