Scottish farmers form new group to battle climate change

The group will focus on low-carbon agriculture following the advice of young farmers called 'Agricultural Champions'
The group will focus on low-carbon agriculture following the advice of young farmers called 'Agricultural Champions'

A group of farmers in Scotland are to establish and develop ideas to help drive low-carbon and environmentally friendly agriculture.

Under reforms to the Farming For a Better Climate (FFBC) programme, the new group will be established to trail new ways to help climate change mitigation.

FFBC was first established in 2009 with a remit to research information on practical low carbon farming practices based on interacting with farmers.

But earlier this year, four young farmers, called 'Agricultural Champions', were appointed and have signalled that the group should undertake a cultural and behavioural shift towards low-carbon farming in Scotland.

In line with the recommendations of the Agricultural Champions, the FFBC will now be refocused on soil regenerative agriculture, including soil, fertiliser, manure management, carbon sequestration and more.

Scottish government's Rural Affairs Minister Mairi Gougeon made the announcement while visiting Hugh Black’s farm in Forfar - one of the farmers participating in the group.

Ms Gougeon said the world faces a 'climate emergency', saying “it is more vital than ever that farmers and crofters move towards low-carbon by adapting to the changing climate and securing their business viability for generations to come.”

“So while Farming For a Better Climate has been a success, it is now time to reform and encourage farmers to act collaboratively to ensure the future success of the industry.”

She added: “As no two farms are the same, I am moving the system away from focussing on the individual to one of collective collaboration, maximising the opportunity for testing innovative solutions in a variety of situations.”

Hugh Black said the group will have an 'open mind set' and an 'eagerness to excel' in the face of climate change.

It follows news of the Welsh farming industry saying how farming should be recognised as 'central' in the battle against climate change amid an increase in 'misguided attacks' on farmers.