17 September 1998
Lyon calls for farm exit scheme

GEORGE LYON, president of the Scottish National Farmers Union, has called on the Government to devise a scheme which would farmers to leave the industry with dignity.

Lyon warned of grim times ahead for the industry, at a conference of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland.

He said: “Under Agenda 2000 we should be seeking to negotiate a decent deal that allows the industry to restructure in a managed way.”

But Lyon detected signs also of an upswing in the industry. He said it looked like interest rates had peaked. The strong Pound may have reached a plateau. There were also reports of cereal prices firming and progress on lifting the beef ban.

He said: We are probably near the bottom of the cycle but it is difficult to predict when the upturn will come. It could be six to nine months away.”