'Interesting' Few Years Ahead For Agricultural Sector

An "interesting few years" are ahead for Scotland's agricultural sector, according to Professor Donald MacRae, chief economist at Lloyds Banking Group Scotland.

Professor MacRae is set to address a rural seminar on how the current economic situation facing the country, as well as the wider Eurozone, will impact the industry. He will then join the panel of rural experts at the annual Pagan Osborne and CKD Galbraith agricultural affairs seminar, taking place in St Andrews next month.

Professor MacRae said:

"There are certainly an interesting few years ahead for the agricultural sector with the uncertain economic environment and question marks over how the Eurozone and EU funding will continue.

"This seminar is a great opportunity to talk to farmers and others with interests in the industry, sharing our thoughts and how the sector can continue to thrive and move forward."

The panel, which includes agricultural law specialists Colin Clark and Gillian Gibbons from Pagan Osborne and rural land and property professional Mike Reid of CKD Galbraith, will host an interactive session with delegates on issues such as how the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform may affect farmers, the possibility of re-entering recession, the drivers of economic recovery and how Scotland compares to other nations.

Colin Clark, partner and head of agriculture and estates at Pagan Osborne, is an accredited specialist in agricultural law. He said:

"There is a level of uncertainty at the moment in relation to a number of factors affecting the agricultural sector and this event offers an opportunity to discuss, explain and gather opinions on these.

"Our annual seminars are very popular and they are a useful forum for all of those involved in the industry."

Chris Addison-Scott, partner in charge of CKD Galbraith's rural division who will be attending the event, said:

'We are delighted to once again be co-hosting our annual rural seminar with Pagan Osborne. This year we are very pleased to have Professor Donald MacRae speaking on such topical subjects.

"Although a time of great uncertainty, farmers have seen unprecedented prices for beef and lamb as well as good cereal prices. This has given many the confidence to expand as can be seen in the increase in land prices and rents. However, with current economic uncertainty and the eurozone problems it is always essential to be aware of the issues and challenges.''

This year's event will be held at the Lower College Hall, North Street, St Andrews on Thursday March 15 from 6pm. Attendance is free and to register contact Karen Johnstone at Pagan Osborne on 01334 653 777 or email kjjohnstone@pagan.co.uk.