File Note 5: Public Goods and Agriculture in Scotland

18th May 2011

LINK believes that farming is not like any other economic sector. Agricultural activities cover the majority of the Scottish landscape and thus a good quality environment is dependent on appropriate land management. Equally, agriculture depends on maintaining the quality of the soil, water and biodiversity upon which production depends. LINK believes that all agricultural support should be directed towards the provision of public goods which would otherwise not be supplied by the market. Basic support should be available for low-level environmental measures applicable to all farmland. Higher level targeted agri-environment payments together with support for HNV and organic farming systems should be available on top of basic support. Unless agriculture support is better targeted to specific aims, LINK believes it will not be justifiable in the long term.

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