Highlands MSP Emma Roddick calls for more support for new farmers and crofters

Landscape shot. The image looks down a path through fields and over the mountains at sunset

Emma Roddick, MSP for the Highlands and Islands, has asked the Scottish Government how they plan to support more people to gain the skills and education required to become farmers and crofters.

Roddick asked Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Mairi Gougeon, what is being done to make land-based career opportunities more accessible in order to tackle depopulation in the region.

Discussing the matter further, Roddick said:

“My constituency is largely rural, with many of its residents involved in or interested in pursuing careers such as crofting or farming. We are beginning to see food shortages occur while fertile land lies empty. We need to support people to gain the education and skills required to use our land productively.”

“People leave the Highlands and Islands every year in search of career opportunities. In order to tackle depopulation, we need to create more jobs in the area and remove the barriers that prevent people accessing them.

“It is vital that Scotland supports its young people to take up land-based careers so they can remain in their local area whilst being able to provide for themselves and their families.”