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Agricultural debt has grown faster than any other sector

Debt across the UK has grown by 6 per cent to £17.7 billion


Alex   Black

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Alex   Black
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Agricultural debt has grown faster than any other sector

Agricultural debt has grown 51 per cent since 2010, faster than any other UK sector.


Debt grew by 6 per cent across the UK in 2016 to £17.7 billion and is the only sector which has increased debt every year since 2010.


In Scotland, debt grew by 9 per cent to £2.2bn. This is the seventh consecutive year outstanding debt has risen above the rate of inflation.


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Severe difficulties

 

NFU Scotland (NFUS) chief executive Scott Walker said the increase was due to the 'severe difficulties' farms were facing.


"This is not about Scottish agriculture investing for the future but more about farms and crofts having to take on greater levels of borrowing in order to keep their businesses ticking over.


"This year has seen huge cashflow problems caused by late support payments and lower market prices."

NFUS also suggested even more farms had extended credit from lenders which will not be included in the figures.

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