Prince offers support to small farms

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SMALL farm businesses in Dumfries and Galloway are invited to take part in the second year of the Prince’s Farm Resilience Programme, run by the Prince’s Countryside Fund.

The Prince of Wales launches his Farm Resilience Programme at Highgrove
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The Prince of Wales launches his Farm Resilience Programme at Highgrove

It helps small farms improve their way of working and gives free business support, skills and planning tuition, along with one-to-one guidance to 20 small livestock and mixed family farm businesses.

The programme will run in Dumfries. Applications are open until October 31. Farmers who have completed the programme feel more confident about the future of their business.

The programme tackles some of the biggest challenges faced by small farm businesses. It was developed off the back of The Prince’s Dairy Initiative, which helped strengthen the UK dairy supply chain. The £1.5m programme will support up to 300 farm businesses this year.

Farmers will be given the skills to evaluate their viability and make informed decisions about the future by using the business health check tool.

The programme also brings together like-minded family farm enterprises in networks so they can review their current activity and identify opportunities and improvements on-farm to build resilience.

Research commissioned by the fund and carried out by the University of Exeter revealed a steep decline in the number of small farms since 2000. Declining farmgate prices have led to the average farm income falling below £20,000 for the first time since 2007. With uncertainty caused by Brexit adding extra pressure to farmers, the programme is more important than ever.

Go to www.princescountrysidefund.org.uk/farmresilience or ring Heather Wildman at Saviour Associates on 07773 519 995 or info@saviourassoc.co.uk.

Thursday, September 7, 2017 at 4:15PM
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