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17 May 2018 16:23:03 |News,Property News,Rural Life

Reform needed to increase land available to new entrants, report says

The report acknowledge that more flexibility is needed to rejuvenate the tenanted sector

The report acknowledge that more flexibility is needed to rejuvenate the tenanted sector

A new report has been released examining reforms needed to increase the amount of agricultural land available to new entrants in Scotland.
The report explores the different types of joint venture options for tenants and landlords such as contract farming, partnerships, share farming, agricultural tenancies, and leasing/licensing.
It also highlights the need to address issues around the balance of risk and reward on the part of existing farmers/landowners, the profitability of new entrant farming businesses, and the need for trust and relationship building in developing these joint ventures.
The publication follows last month’s discussion paper, prepared for the Scottish Land Commission by Jeremy Moody, Secretary and Adviser to the Central Association of Agricultural Valuers (CAAV).
In his paper, Mr Moody said a simpler and shorter tenancy law would be more widely used and would create confidence.
Furthermore, the flexibility of a more commercial vehicle and more business-minded approach could open up the let sector.

Mr Moody stated: “More is needed to build confidence so that a flexible let sector and wider agriculture can thrive. Ultimately, a vibrant ecology of letting arrangements requires the positive participation of landowners – there would be no tenants if no one was willing to be a landlord.”
Mr Moody also recommended taxation changes to encourage the release of land for letting.
Sarah-Jane Laing, executive director of Scottish Land & Estates, said that the two reports were an acknowledgement that more flexibility was needed to rejuvenate the tenanted sector.
Ms Laing said: “There is a clear desire by both landlords and tenants to see more land being let and this report is another valuable contribution towards delivering a thriving tenanted sector in Scotland.
“There is increasing acknowledgement across the industry that more flexible arrangements need to be introduced which can serve the interests of both tenants and landlords.
“That is not to remove the existing tenancy options but to ensure that simpler arrangements are also part of the mix and can deliver a productive and adaptable relationship between respective business parties.”

Ms Laing said farming in Scotland is going to experience substantial change over the next decade, and there is a need to take a fresh perspective on what changes tenant farming needs to succeed.
“We do not necessarily believe that new legislation is required but if there is a will from both government and farming stakeholders then in partnership, we can deliver policies that will increase the amount of land available, especially to new entrants,” she added.


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