Review on recommendations for tenant farming sector welcomed

South Scotland MSP, Claudia Beamish, has welcomed the publication of the Agricultural Holdings Legislation Review Group’s final report.

The review group was brought together by the Scottish Government to investigate ongoing concerns in the tenanted farming sector and to suggest action.

The final report makes 49 recommendations to address what it sees as three fundamental underlying issues – improving relationships between tenants and landowners, addressing concerns around right to buy and providing opportunities for new entrants by creating a framework fit for the 21st century.

Specific recommendations include establishment of a tenant farming commissioner, a clearer, fairer process for setting rents and allowing some tenants to apply to the Scottish Land Court to force the sale of the holding where a landlord does not meet their obligations.

Claudia Beamish MSP said: “The tenant farming sector accounts for around a quarter of Scotland’s agriculture but in recent decades it has been in steep decline. This is a real issue not least because the sector has traditionally provided a gateway for new entrants to build a career in farming.

“The review group’s report is an important step in reversing this trend and I welcome the collaborative approach taken by members to reach out to stakeholders. Now that the recommendations have been published, it is important that they are taken forward to help bring in brighter future for the sector. There are real opportunities to deliver a better deal for existing tenants and those who hope to retire, while helping to bring new blood into the industry.

“The Scottish Government has indicated its willingness to move quickly to implement the recommendations and I will be closely following progress.”