02 February 2015 | Online since 2003



28 May 2014|News

Scottish farmers voice concern over job cuts


Scotland’s growers have voiced their concern at the impact that planned job cuts may have on the nation’s invaluable research and development effort.

Farmers on NFU Scotland’s Combinable Crops committee, and working groups for Potatoes and Soft Fruit/Field Vegetables have always attached great value to the work carried out by the James Hutton Institute - the interdisciplinary scientific research institute created from the amalgamation of the Scottish Crop Research Institute (SCRI) and the Macaulay Land Use Research Institute (MLURI) in 2011.

However, the James Hutton Institute, based in Invergowrie and Aberdeen, is to cut up to 70 jobs as part of a voluntary redundancy scheme aimed at reducing costs.

In recent days, the Union’s committees and working groups have all discussed the matter and are seeking reassurances that vital research effort in key areas will be unaffected.

Union representatives are scheduled to meet with JHI Chief Executive Ian Gordon next week to discuss the matter.

NFU Scotland Policy Manager Peter Loggie said: “The JHI is famed for its world-leading research on barley, potatoes and soft fruit but behind that is hugely valuable generic work for growers on sustainable farming systems, soils, nematodes, plant pests and diseases that are all vitally important to maintaining and enhancing farm efficiency.

“The JHI has a crucial role to play if food production is going to keep pace with population growth while at the same time being challenged by issues such as climate change, legislation, input costs, plant protection product availability and the loss of productive farm land to urbanisation.”

Combinable Crops Chairman Andrew Moir added: “There is a well-documented correlation between research being scaled back and agricultural production tailing off. The dramatic fall in R&D expenditure across Europe since the 1980’s will have contributed to the yield plateau that growers are now experiencing.

“Growers want to see the skills, knowledge and expertise at JHI retained and strengthened to the benefit of our own agricultural industry and beyond.”

Chairman of the Union’s Soft Fruit and Field Vegetable Working Group, Peter Thomson said: "I have spoken to the Chief Executive of JHI in the past few days and have an appreciation of the budgetary pressures that the institute faces. However, it has a world-leading position in basic agricultural research for growers – whether that be cereals, potatoes or soft fruit – and a reputation for delivering valuable work on varieties and plant diseases back to growers.

“While much of that work benefits Scottish growers, such is the value of the research taking place at JHI, that its reach and impact is worldwide. That is a real asset and something worth protecting.”

Download



Comments


No comments posted yet. Be the first to post a comment

To post comment without approval login or register

Display name

Please enter your name

Email (optional)
Comment

Please enter your comment

Post Comment

Your comment submitted successfully.Please wait for admin approval.

Some error on your process.Please try one more time.



Jobs


13 January 2015
Farm Sales / Account Manager – Agriculture
Farm Sales / Account Manager – Agriculture (MC900-TJ). The ability to formulate your own diets is not essential as you will b...

10 January 2015
Bistro Manager
Work with the farm shop and marina employees to support and develop their business strategies. Aston Marina have an exciting ...

16 January 2015
Research Fellow
The College was placed fourth in Agriculture, Veterinary and Food Science, but was the first-placed veterinary school (by 4*)...

21 January 2015
KITCHEN MANAGER
Develop your skills by preparing and serving a great range of delicious grills, spit roasts, farm assured chicken and fish......

23 January 2015
DCS Systems Specialist
2 synthetic ethanol units (300 ktpa) and a petrochemical tank farm; To maintain, design, implement and control the System Har...




Top stories you may have missed
12 November 2014 | Arable
GM crops 'good for farmers and the envir...

GM crops 'good for farmers and the envir...

GM crops are good for the economy and can reduce the amount of pesticides u...


6 November 2014 | Cattle
Smaller European markets drive beef expo...

Smaller European markets drive beef expo...

Demand from smaller European markets has helped drive strong growth for UK ...


6 November 2014 | Agri Safety
Lack of engineers a 'ticking time bomb' ...

Lack of engineers a 'ticking time bomb' ...

A lack of engineers, not enough people promoting the land-based industries ...


4 November 2014 | Bees and Beekeeping
Bee action plan due: Last chance for bee...

Bee action plan due: Last chance for bee...

Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss is launching the National Pollinator ...


4 November 2014 | Arable
Experts welcome financial boost for youn...

Experts welcome financial boost for youn...

Agricultural specialists have welcomed a potential financial boost for youn...


3 November 2014 | News
Supermarket competition on prices 'risks...

Supermarket competition on prices 'risks...

As retailers continue to participate in a highly competitive race to the bo...


31 October 2014 | Arable
New Defra farm figures 'underline volati...

New Defra farm figures 'underline volati...

New farm business income data from Defra, which focus on income from March ...


30 October 2014 | Agri Safety
Agriculture remains one of UK's most dan...

Agriculture remains one of UK's most dan...

Agriculture has remained one of the industries in which workers are most li...


29 October 2014 | Finance
UK farmland prices see 'substantial grow...

UK farmland prices see 'substantial grow...

Prime arable land in the UK has seen a substantial year-on-year growth in p...


27 October 2014 | Arable
Satellites to help farmers pinpoint dise...

Satellites to help farmers pinpoint dise...

A new mobile app for farmers able to pinpoint and identify disease, pests a...