Skip to content

Boosting Productivity Growth in Scottish Agriculture – Report for the Scottish Government

15 April 2020

Scottish agriculture is under significant external pressure, both from the policy and trade landscape after the UK withdraws from the EU and the current COVID-19 outbreak. This puts strain on the resilience of the agricultural industry to withstand these shocks. A key pillar of resilience is productivity growth, which reflects the amount of resource used within the industry and must be achieved alongside wider Scottish government goals like meeting Greenhouse Gas emission Targets.

The purpose of this  report, commissioned by the Scottish Government produced by SRUC economists and SAC consultants, is two-fold:

i) to understand the current efficiency of Scottish agricultural sectors, and
ii) to outline key interventions that could be used to support productivity growth in Scottish agriculture.

The interventions range from radical approaches around rethinking the purpose and targeting of support funding, to creating a learner fund for each farmer to identify their own training needs, and up-scaling the current monitor and demonstration farm network. Furthermore greater integration and support for commercial engagement between policy and industry is a further approach that was considered. Understanding the ambitions of Scottish agricultural policy and clarifying these visions for the future would allow more targeted and cost-effective interventions for boosting productivity growth in the coming decades

The full report can be downloaded below. Any further questions can be directed to Professor Andrew Barnes (

Report on Scottish Agricultural Productivity

This work was funded through the Scottish Government’s 2016-2021 Strategic Research Programme – Underpinning Policy Advice.