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QMS: Monitor Farms Reward Investment

by 5m Editor
17 December 2008, at 7:21am

SCOTLAND - The Scottish Monitor Farm Programme has reaped dividends for farmers according to an independent report.


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"Monitor Farms allow valuable opportunities for those within the industry to share their expert knowledge and keep abreast of increasingly problematic issues, such as economic sustainability in the livestock sector, by developing new working practices."
Richard Lochhead, Rural Affairs and the Environment

Conducted on behalf of Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment, Richard Lochhead, the report estimates the industry reaps a 36.50 benefit for every 31 invested.

Publicising the report during a visit to participating Blakelaw Farm, Kelso, Richard Lochhead said:

"Overall the report is very positive, providing a solid foundation for continued development of the Monitor Farm programme. Producing this report was vital as it not only investigates the impact of Monitor Farms, it also suggests improvements, providing objective information to inform future policy.

"Monitor Farms allow valuable opportunities for those within the industry to share their expert knowledge and keep abreast of increasingly problematic issues, such as economic sustainability in the livestock sector, by developing new working practices.

"And there are other benefits to the scheme. While ADAS estimates that the farming industry can make more than a six fold profit from investment there was also an average annual improvement of over 3110,000 for each community group involved.

"I am acutely aware of problems facing the pig farming sector so am delighted there is the intention to introduce pig farms to the programme. Funding has also been secured from Scottish Natural Heritage to ensure important environmental matters are also considered.

"This report and its findings mean we can continue with confidence and I look forward to the programme gaining impetus as a result."

QMS Chairman Donald Biggar said: "This report is an overwhelming endorsement of the worth of the Monitor Farm Programme to the Scottish farming industry and shows it is continuing to deliver substantial financial benefits to farm businesses right across Scotland.

"The whole point of monitor farms is to generate new ideas that can improve efficiency and cut costs on a farm with the aim of passing that information down to the whole community. More than 500 farmers with a common 'can do' attitude are now regularly working together in Scotland and enjoying the financial and social benefits of being part of this important scheme."

The report was commissioned by the Scottish Government and Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) which manages the majority of Scottish Monitor Farms.