Farm Diversification

Highland farming

Farm Diversification: Opportunities for Agriculture 

Farm Diversification is the establishment of a new enterprise on a farm. The term usually used when considering a non-agricultural or novel enterprise.

For more information, refer to the SAC Consulting Farm Diversification homepage.

Why Diversify?

Agriculture is essential to rural communities, the rural economy and the environment.

The Scottish Executive states that around 70,000 people in Scotland are directly employed in agriculture, with significant numbers employed indirectly in downstream and ancillary industries.

Despite high levels of Government support, farming incomes have been badly depressed in recent years.

This has led to many farmers looking for new ways to generate income outwith their mainstream agricultural activities.

Diversification may not be practicable for every farmer, well planned and seasoned projects can create new sources of income for farmers, and can enhance the range of facilities available in Scotland's rural areas.

Many farmers have already found success by diversifying into alternative enterprises to mainstream agriculture.

What is Farm Diversification?

10 steps to Farm Diversification

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Farm Diversification is the establishment on a farm of a new enterprise and is the term usually used when considering a non-agricultural or novel enterprise.

Estimates suggest that almost 40% of farm businesses have diversified.

10 steps to farm diversification

  • Analyse the Business-SWOT: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats
  • Identify potential for change
  • Assess Opportunities & Competitors
  • Examine resources, facilities, labour & skills
  • Do Market Research
  • Consider Financial Feasibility
  • Make a Business Plan
  • Seek Planning Permission
  • Organise Finance, funding & seek partnerships & grants
  • Launch the project - take the committed step

More information is available on the SAC Consulting Farm Diversification page

The Scottish Executive has produced a report that gives farmers pointers on permitted developments for diversification and states whether planning permission is required.

Scottish Executive: A Guide to Farm Diversification and Planning Permission in Scotland.

Suzanne Hay

Address: SRUC Aberdeen Campus, Craibstone Estate, Bucksburn, Aberdeen AB21 9YA

Telephone: 07767648494


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