Thursday, 25 February 2010

Gibson calls for potential revisiting of land reform Act

News release
Immediate release

Highlands and Islands SNP MSP Rob Gibson has said that the land reform act might have to be revisited to give more rights to tenants farmers.

His call came during a debate on the Brian Pack inquiry on future farming funding. In a wide ranging speech Mr Gibson said that farmers needed to be diversify for the climate change era and to allow for food security.

But he said that increased rights had to be given to tenant farmers if they were to be able to go into the future with any sense of security. If that couldn't be done by any other means then he said that revisiting the land reform act even before the next Scottish Election should happen.

Speaking after Mr Gibson said…

"Crofters gained the buy their land in 1976. However no such provision was made for tenant farmers in the 2003 Land Reform law. In my view this was an opportunity lost and is holding back tenant farmers up and down the country because landlords are withholding land for rent and stopping new entrants getting onto the farming ladder."

"What is clear is that food security is going to become central to the future of a sustainable Scotland. Everyone in agriculture is going to play their part in it. Also the UK Climate change Committee's report to the Scottish Parliament delivered yesterday must be part of the Pack solutions. Whether tenants or owner occupiers agricultural holdings will have to make more use of anaerobic digestion, on-farm renewables and reduced use of artificial fertilisers. It is a complex set of parameters."


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